Fitness levels and physical activity among class A drug users entering prison
Fischer J., Butt C., Dawes H., Foster C., Neale J., Plugge E., Wheeler C., Wright N.
Physical activity could benefit drug users' physiological and mental health. Previous research has suggested that physical activity levels change when drug users enter prison. Methods Twenty-five class A drug users who were new to prison answered physical activity and drug use cross-sectional questionnaires, took a submaximal fitness test and wore a pedometer for 1 week. Results Participants' mean aerobic capacity was estimated as 49 mls O 2/kg/min (±12 SD). Their mean selfreported walking distance outside of prison was 4.67 miles on an average day (±4.14 SD). Pedometer data suggest they walked a mean of 1.8 miles/day in prison. Conclusion Many class A drug users entering prison had high levels of fitness and physical activity before admission, often gained from walking. Walking activity reduced when they entered prison, posing a challenge to maintaining healthy activity levels.