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Do All Activities “Weigh” Equally? How Different Physical Activities Differ as Predictors of Weight


  • Grace Lordan
  • Debayan Pakrashi


In Britain, it is recommended that, to stay healthy, adults should do 150 minutes of moderate‐intensity physical activity every week. The recommendations provided by the U.K. government, however, remain silent in regard to the type of activity that should be done. Using the annual Health Survey for England we compare how different types of physical activities predict a person's weight. In particular, we consider clinically measured body mass index and waist circumference. We document mean slopes emanating from ordinary least squares regressions with these measures as the dependent variables. We show that individuals who walk at a brisk or fast pace are more likely to have a lower weight when compared to individuals doing other activities. Additionally, we highlight that the association between physical activity and weight is stronger for females and individuals over the age of 50. Our overall conclusions are robust to a number of specifications.

Suggested Citation

  • Grace Lordan & Debayan Pakrashi, 2015. "Do All Activities “Weigh” Equally? How Different Physical Activities Differ as Predictors of Weight," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 35(11), pages 2069-2086, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:riskan:v:35:y:2015:i:11:p:2069-2086
    DOI: 10.1111/risa.12417

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Dolan & Grace Lordan, 2021. "Climbing up ladders and sliding down snakes: an empirical assessment of the effect of social mobility on subjective wellbeing," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 1023-1045, December.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy


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