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Original Research

The Short-Term Efficacy of a Brief Motivational Intervention Designed to Increase Physical Activity Among College Students



2012, 9, 525 – 532

Background: Research has shown that many college students do not meet recommended national guidelines for physical activity. The objective of this pilot study was to examine the short-term efficacy of a brief motivational intervention (BMI) designed to increase physical activity. Methods: Participants were 70 college students who reported low physical activity (83% women, 60% African American). Participants were randomly assigned to either the BMI condition or to an education-only (EO) condition. They completed measures of physical activity at baseline and 1-month follow-up. Results: Those in the BMI condition reported more vigorous-intensity physical activity at a 1-month follow-up than those in the EO condition. Conclusions: The findings from this study provide preliminary support for the efficacy of a BMI designed to increase physical activity among college students. Future studies should continue to examine and refine the intervention in an effort to improve health-related behaviors among this group.

Keywords: motivational interviewing, personalized feedback, exercise


Authors: Matthew P. Martens, Joanna Buscemi, Ashley E. Smith, James G. Murphy

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