223500 Physical activity and sedentary patterns during college transition years

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Jeanne Johnston, PhD , Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Saurabh Thosar, MS , Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Jonathon Agley , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Ruth Gassman, PhD , Indiana Prevention Resource Center, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Susan E. Middlestadt, PhD , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Marieke Van Puymbroeck, PhD, CTRS , Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Amed Youssefagha, PhD , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Background: The transition from adolescence to young adulthood is a critical time period as attitudes toward health and physical activity (PA) are partly dependent upon behaviors formed early in life. Colleges and universities have the potential to reach a large number of young adults; however, designing effective interventions requires an understanding of college students' PA patterns. Methods: An online survey was conducted with a representative sample of 2,964 undergraduates from one mid-western rural University. Fully 56.4% (1,672) of the full-time students participated; raw data were weighted by class and gender. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire was utilized to describe patterns of PA and sedentary behavior in the college student population. Participants were asked to describe their vigorous, moderate, walking, and sedentary activities. Results: A significant (p=<0.001) decrease in total physical activity (TPA) was detected from freshman to senior year, respectfully (7493.8 to 4284.7 MET-min∙week-1+7091.6). Vigorous physical activity (VPA) decreased considerably more (2,460 MET-min∙week-1) than moderate (437 MET-min∙week-1) and walking activity (648 MET-min∙week-1). In addition, we noted a significant (p=<0.001) increase in sitting time (329.6 min + 192.0; 405.2 min+240.3) and weight (68.9kg +12.4;76.9kg+21.4) from freshman to senior year. Conclusion: These finding suggest a number of activities health professionals working in college settings might consider to improve the health of students and to prepare students for a healthier life style after college.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1.Discuss changes in physical activity and sedentary behavior during the college years. 2.Discuss the impact of decreased PA and increased sitting time on weight gain and overall health in the college population 3.Identify alternative activities to engage students in healthy lifestyle behavior adoption.

Keywords: College Students, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present as I have been conducting research within the college student population for 3 years and was a co-investigator on this project, contributing to the design and adminsitration of the survey.
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.