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Race and Sex Differences in College Student Physical Activity Correlates

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Objectives : To assess sex/race differences on psychosocial correlates of physical activity among college students.

Methods : Survey research protocol.

Results : Students (n=636) exercised an average of 3.5 days per week, with black females being the least active. Across subgroups, health/fitness was rated as the most important motive for exercise, followed by appearance and mental health. Of the correlates, enjoyment and the use of self-management strategies were most strongly associated with activity level. Only 40 were aware that adults should accumulate 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days (ie, 5) of the week for health benefits.

Conclusions : Findings highlight the importance of teaching self-management skills and fostering exercise enjoyment in health promotion programs for college students.
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Keywords: college students; exercise correlates; exercise enjoyment; physical activity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1 Associate Professor, Department of Dietetics, Hospitality Management, and Fashion Merchandising, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL.

Publication date: January 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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