203838 Physical Activity among College Students: Findings from the 2007 Utah Higher Education Health Behavior Survey

Monday, November 9, 2009

Timothy K. Behrens, PhD , Department of Health Sciences, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO
Travis R. Peterson, PhD , Department of Health Sciences, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO
Jo E. Bradley , Department of Health Sciences, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO
Jessica B. Hildebrand , Department of Health Sciences, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO
There is ample evidence suggesting that Americans are not meeting physical activity (PA) recommendations. However, there is limited evidence on PA and college students. Thus, the purpose of this study was to describe the PA profile of college students in the state of Utah. The Utah Higher Education Health Behavior Survey was administered in 2007 to students at institutions of higher learning throughout the state. PA was determined using questions from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for moderate and vigorous PA. Respondents were classified into one of three categories: 1) meeting PA recommendations, 2) insufficiently active, or 3) inactive. Descriptive statistics were calculated to describe demographic characteristics of those meeting PA recommendations. There were 7,635 participants in the sample (age: 24.41 7.13 yrs, 44.7% male, 91.5% Caucasian). Approximately 77% of respondents reported meeting the PA recommendation. Among those meeting PA recommendations, 54% were female, 73.5% were full-time students, and 87.1% were employed at least part-time. African-American students reported the greatest proportions meeting PA recommendations (85%), followed by Pacific Islanders (79%), Caucasians (77%), American Indian/Alaskan Natives (73%), Hispanic/Latinos (67%), and Asians (63%). Freshmen were the most likely to meet PA recommendations (79%), followed by sophomores (77%), juniors (76%), seniors (75%), and graduate students (75%). The results of this study represent one of few investigations of PA among college students using large epidemiological datasets. These findings are of value to researchers and practitioners seeking to understand the PA patterns of college students in the United States.

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will be able to describe the methodology used to assess physical activity in this study. 2. Participants will identify which sub-groups of college students were most likely to meet physical activity recommendations.

Keywords: College Students, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am trained in physical activity adn public health, and I am the PI on this project.
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.