Physical activity trends in South Carolina, 1994-2000

Katrina D. DuBose, Karen A. Kirtland, Steven P. Hooker, Regina M. Fields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives: During the 1990s, physical activity recommendations and surveillance methods were developed in an attempt to increase and monitor, respectively, regular physical activity prevalence rates. For this article, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data were analyzed to determine whether regular physical activity proportions in South Carolina adults changed from 1994 to 2000. The physical activity prevalence rates for South Carolina were compared with national rates and Healthy People 2000 goals to measure progress. The rate of physical activity counseling by physicians and other health professionals was also analyzed from 1998 to 1999. Methods: Total subjects included 10,495 adults ages 18 years and older from South Carolina and 545,445 from the remainder of the United States. Using random-digit dialing procedures in 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000, the two most frequent types of leisure-time physical activity performed in the past month were identified. For activities listed, the frequency (days/wk) and duration (minutes/d) were obtained. Linear regressions were performed on regular physical activity and inactivity for the total population and by gender, race, age, and body mass index (BMI). Data pertaining to whether or not a physician or other health professional had provided physical activity counseling were also obtained for 1998 and 1999. Results: From 1994 to 2000, the proportion of South Carolina adults participating in regular leisure time physical activity significantly increased (10.8%). Interestingly, the prevalence of regular physical activity in the rest of the nation remained unchanged during this time. Although significant increases were observed in nearly all subgroups, physical activity prevalence rates for South Carolina adults lagged behind national levels and did not meet Healthy People 2000 goals. Physical activity counseling by physicians and other health professionals increased from 1998 (24.1%) to 1999 (30.4%). Conclusions: While it is not known what factors influenced regular physical activity from 1994 to 2000, they seem to have been equally effective in South Carolina adults of both genders, both races, regular and overweight status, and nearly all age groups. Despite these positive trends, additional efforts are needed to develop and implement effective community and primary care physical activity interventions that facilitate improvements among the nearly two-thirds of South Carolina adults who do not participate in sufficient physical activity to reap significant health benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)806-810
Number of pages5
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavior
  • Physical activity
  • Physician counseling
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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