Correlations among Different Health Behaviors
This chart reveals that there is little correlation among various health behaviors. Thus, just because people adopt one healthy habit does not ensure that they will adopt others. Source: Johnson et al., 1998
While many people believe that there is a tendency for healthy behaviors to “cluster” together, research does not tend to support such beliefs. The relationships among health behaviors are often examined by looking at the correlations between the different variables. Correlations closer to +1 or -1 suggest strong links while correlations close to zero suggest that there is little or no association. The data presented above from 536 college students, suggest that there is little association among a variety of health behaviors. While not presented above, people who were physically active did tend to report eating a healthier diet.
Johnson, M.F., Nichols, J.F., Sallis, J.F., Calfas, K.J., and Hovell, M.F. (1998) Interrelationships between physical activity and other health behaviors among University women and men. Preventive Medicine, 27, 536-544.