The stereotypical image of pot smokers has long been one of “stoners” parked on the couch, surrounded by snacks and glued to the television, but a new study dispels that notion.
Instead, people who use marijuana may exercise just as much as other people do, and perhaps even a little more, researchers report.
Considering how important regular exercise is to one’s overall health, the finding could dissipate some of the health concerns surrounding the drug, the study authors said.
For the study, researchers from the University of Miami’s Herbert Business School and the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., analyzed data from a national health survey that has followed over 20,000 people, starting in their teenage years, from 1994 through 2018.
The study looked at two different times in these peoples’ lives — when they were aged 24 to 34, and 34 to 42 — and compared their exercise patterns (if they exercised in the past seven days, and the number of days and type of exercise they did on those days) to whether or not they used marijuana (and if so, how often).
Overall, the results revealed that marijuana users were no more or less likely to be active, and some measures even suggested that marijuana users exercised more than non-users.
“In the vast majority of models, there was no significant relationship between any of our marijuana use measures and any of our exercise measures,” said lead study author Michael French. He’s a professor in the department of health management and policy at Miami Herbert Business School, in Coral Gables, Fla.
“The takeaway from this is that the concerns about marijuana users being lazy and not being active and not engaging in sports, it just didn’t show up in this data,” French said.
On the other hand, a few of the researchers’ models did turn up a surprising link between exercise and marijuana: Users may be more likely to exercise in some cases.
Published: April 05, 2021