A Longitudinal Investigation of Physical Activity and Health Behaviors in Italian University Students

  • Arnaldo Zelli
  • Simona K. Reichmann
  • Fabio Lucidi
  • Caterina Grano


Sedentary lifestyle is one of the ten leading causes of death and disability in the world [1]. Physical inactivity increases all causes mortality and the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type II diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, colon and breast cancer, depression, and anxiety [2]. Yet, around the world, physical activity levels are decreasing, particularly among young people. It is estimated that less than 35% of young people are sufficiently active to benefit their present and future health and well-being [1]. This is discouraging for a number of reasons. First, research suggests that patterns of physical activity adopted at a young age are likely to persist into adulthood [3, 4]. Second, involvement in physical activity and sports may encourage the adoption of other health behaviors such as a healthy diet, better safety practices such as seatbelt use, and the avoidance of health risk behaviors such as tobacco and alcohol use [5, 6]. Thus, physical activity may influence health outcomes both directly and indirectly through the encouragement of other behaviors that promote health and reduce the risk of accident and injury.


Vigorous Physical Activity Nutrition Habit Light Physical Activity Healthy Habit Healthy Eating Habit 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnaldo Zelli
    • 1
  • Simona K. Reichmann
    • 1
  • Fabio Lucidi
    • 2
  • Caterina Grano
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Education Sciences in Sport and Physical ActivityUniversity of Movement and Sport SciencesRomeItaly
  2. 2.University of Rome “La Sapienza”RomeItaly

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