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Public Health Rep. 1989 Jul-Aug;104(4):341-9.

Runners' health habits, 1985--"the Alameda 7" revisited.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Carolina School of Public Health, Columbia 29208.


Seven health habits were shown to be associated with longevity in a longitudinal study initiated in Alameda County, CA, in 1965. These habits (drinking moderately, exercising regularly, maintaining desirable weight for height, eating breakfast, not eating snacks, sleeping 7 or 8 hours per day, and never having smoked) were recently examined in a sample of the U.S.


Subgroups with low income and little education were found to have low frequency of these health habits. In this report, findings on the frequency of these habits in 966 habitual runners in South Carolina are presented separately for men and women and according to age, education, income, and weekly mileage. Subgroups of the runners are surprisingly similar to subgroups of the national sample for several health habits. In addition, among the runners, low-income groups and those with little education have a lower frequency of good health habits relative to the other groups, although these differences are not statistically significant. Overall, about half of the runners practice five or more good health habits. These results indicate that even among healthy runners there is need for improvement in the adoption of health habits thought to be associated with reduced morbidity and mortality.

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