198933 Sustainability of increased physical activity levels from a course-based, peer training intervention for college students

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jennifer R. Boyle, PhD, MS , Department of Health Science, State University of New York at Brockport, Brockport, NY
Craig Mattern, PhD , Physical Education and Sport, State University of New York at Brockport, Brockport, NY
Healthy Campus 2010 has identified two of their top priorities to be physical activity (PA) promotion and obesity prevention. However, health and physical activity professionals in higher education have not been able to effectively increase students' levels of PA. Such interventions are in their infancy and have only produced moderate effects. The main purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which the positive effects of a course based PA intervention would be sustained after five months. Immediate impacts of the intervention included increased physical activity levels, increased flexibility, and decreased waist-to-hip ratio. One hundred and seven participants from the original study (n=251) agreed to complete a 5 month follow up questionnaire. To test the long term impacts on PA levels, a 2x3 repeated measures analysis of covariance was conducted. The between subjects factor was treatment group (intervention, control) and the within subjects factor was time (pre-treatment, post-treatment, follow up). Baseline season (Fall or Spring) was the covariate. There was a significant time x group interaction effect. From time 1 to time 2 the intervention group significantly increased their PA while the control group's PA levels decreased. However, while both groups increased their levels of PA between times 2 and 3, increases in PA were largest for the control group, possibly because of their dramatic reductions in PA during the course of the intervention. The findings are discussed with regard to their implications for the future of PA interventions among college students.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to describe the extent to which improved physical activity levels resulting from a course based peer-intervention were sustained over the course of five months.

Keywords: College Students, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My research area of interest is college health and I have authored several presentations and papers on the topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.