221757 Using the Web to Increase Physical Activity in College Students

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 2:30 PM - 2:48 PM

Dejan Magoc, PhD , Department of Health Studies, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL
Joe Tomaka, PhD , College of Health Sciences, UT El Paso, El Paso, TX
Amber Bridges-Arzaga, BS , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Background: The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggest at least 30 min of moderate physical activity at least 5 days a week or 20 min of vigorous physical activity at least 3 days a week. The overall aim of this experiment was to evaluate the efficacy of a web-based intervention to increase days of weekly physical activity among predominantly Hispanic college students attending a large Southwest University. This study also examined the presumed mediators of PA behavioral change using constructs derived from Social Cognitive Theory (SCT). Methods: 104 students randomly participated in either a web-based intervention involving 7 theory-based learning lessons or a control group that received minimal physical activity information. Participants reported levels of physical activity and Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) constructs at baseline and after 6 weeks of the intervention. Results: Multivariate, univariate, and stepdown analyses for the Treatment Group by Time interaction showed the intervention to increase both moderate and vigorous days of physical activity. Similar multivariate, univariate, and stepdown tests of the SCT constructs did not show the intervention to predictably impact the SCT variables. Conclusions: The present study found support for the notion that a theory- web-based intervention could successfully increase days of moderate and vigorous physical activity across a 6-week intervention period, relative to a non-theory based control condition. The study failed to find strong support, however, that changes in SCT constructs such as self-efficacy or ability to make plans accounted for such changes.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the effectiveness of a theoretically-based and web-delivered intervention using common course technology for increasing physical activity in a college student sample.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Intervention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee programs such as physical activity and behavioral change theories.
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.