Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Portland State University (PSU) School of Public Health

Skip to Main Content

SPH Research Seminar Series

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

SPH Research Seminar Series

June 27, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

SPH Research Seminar Series

Chill Out or Get Active? The Relationship between Marijuana Use and Exercise

Michael T. French, PhD

Professor, Department of Health Management & Policy
Miami Business School
University of Miami


Marijuana use is often associated with a sedentary lifestyle, including the consumption of unhealthy foods, lack of motivation to engage in social activities, and disinterest in exercise. However, little research has investigated these relationships using large datasets and advanced statistical methods. The present study partially fills this gap by analyzing the relationships between current and lifetime use of marijuana, and various forms of exercise. The core dataset is Wave 4 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). In addition to cross-sectional analysis of Wave 4 of Add Health, we also conduct fixed-effects analysis using Waves 3 and 4. Numerous gender-specific models are estimated with a large set of control variables, binary and continuous measures of exercise and marijuana use, and alternative estimation techniques. Regardless of gender, results consistently show that marijuana use is not negatively related to exercise, which is counter to conventional wisdom that marijuana users are less likely to be active. Indeed, the only significant estimates suggest a positive relationship, even among heavier users during the past 12 months and past 30 days. For example, consuming marijuana 3 to 5 days per week during the past month is associated with a 7.27 percentage point (15.31%) increase in the probability of exercising during the past week for males and a 10.10 percentage point (27.08%) increase for females. These findings endure when subject to various robustness checks and sensitivity analyses. In particular, we estimate similar models using another large and nationally-representative dataset—Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)—and the results are very similar. As additional states legalize the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, this topic holds important social and policy importance when we consider possible negative consequences of expanding the intensive and extensive margins. While endogeneity bias is a possible problem with interpreting the positive and significant coefficients, and the results are not necessarily causal, a first look at these relationships suggest that marijuana users (lifetime, past year, and past month) do not engage in less exercise than non-users.


Thursday, June 27 3PM – 4PM

OHSU School of Nursing 358


June 27, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


OHSU School of Nursing
3455 SW US Veterans Hospital Rd
Portland, OR 97239 United States
+ Google Map