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Penn State Researchers Find Link Between Exercise, Beer

Beer lovers, rejoice.

A team of researchers from Penn State found a link between drinking and sweating in what the New York Times called the “most scientifically ambitious” of similar studies.

The study, entitled Daily Physical Activity and Alcohol use Across the Adult Lifespan, was published in Health Psychology last year. “People drank more than usual on the same days that they engaged in more physical activity than usual,” the researchers wrote in the study.

The team of Nittany Lions took a group of 150 men and women between the ages of 18 and 75 who were pre-enrolled in a health study at Penn State. Participants were asked to first visit the lab and answer questionnaires about their lifestyle. After, participants downloaded a smartphone app to record their daily drinking and exercise consumption. The data was automatically sent to the researchers everyday for 21 consecutive days. Each participant completed three of the 21-day reports in different seasons over the span of a year.

After collecting the data for a year, the results revealed an unequivocal correlation between exercising during the week and subsequently drinking on that day. The thesis of the study was, “daily deviations in physical activity were significantly associated with daily total alcohol use.” Factors like age, gender, and time of the year did not affect the results.

David Conroy, Nilam Ram, Aaron Pincus, Donna Coffman, Amy Lorek, Amanda Rebar, and Michael Roche coauthored the study. The group is involved in areas of study all over campus, including: the center for healthy living, kinesiology, health and human development, the methodology center, psychology, and human development and family studies.

While the study suggests a link between alcohol and physical activity that “reflects the aggregation of a daily process that unfolds within-people over time” the researchers concluded “further work is needed to identify mediators of this daily association and to evaluate causality, as well as to investigate these relations in high-risk samples.”

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