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Demographic Trends in Utah College Students' Vigorous Physical Activity, 2003-2007

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Objectives: This analysis of a large-scale survey of college students from 2003 to 2007 explores relationships between meeting vigorous physical activity (VPA) recommendations and key demographic, lifestyle, and personal characteristics. Methods: Multivariate logistic regression modeling was used to analyze VPA data from the Utah Higher Education Health Behavior Survey, a descriptive cross-sectional survey conducted in 2003 (N = 4574), 2005 (N = 9673) and 2007 (N = 7938). Results: Factors consistently associated with meeting VPA recommendations included involvement in extracurricular sports, being single, and daily consumption of fruits or vegetables. In contrast, factors such as older age (> 23 years old), having a particularly low (<18.5 kg˙m2) or high BMI (> 34.9 kg˙m2), and being a current smoker were associated with not meeting the VPA recommendation. This corroborates paradoxical findings that binge alcohol consumption correlates with meeting VPA. Conclusions: Findings support the need for targeted interventions among college students to support the establishment of long-term protective behavioral patterns against chronic disease risk throughout the life course.
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Keywords: COLLEGE STUDENTS; LIFE COURSE; PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center for Health Equity Research, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, USA., Email: [email protected] 2: Department of Health Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, USA 3: Community Health Program, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO, USA 4: Department of Biology, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO, USA 5: Independent Consultant, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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  • 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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