Required Health and Wellness Courses: Associations With College Student Physical Activity Behavior and Attitudes

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Objective: To assess the extent to which college student physical activity behaviors and attitudes are associated with enrollment in required, but self-selected, health and wellness courses. Participants: Data were analyzed from 1473 undergraduate students (60% women) taking health and wellness courses at a large northeastern university. Methods: Demographic characteristics and activity levels at the time of course enrollment were assessed in relation to course selection and activity levels after course completion. One-way analysis of variance tests were used to assess the differences in the characteristics of students enrolling in different types of health and wellness courses, and paired samples t tests were used to assess the differences in physical activity and related attitudes from the time of enrollment to the end of the semester. Results: Course selection was predicted by demographic characteristics and precourse activity levels. Overall, no significant change in activity levels was observed over the course of one semester, although some effects were observed within certain types of activities. Conclusions: When given the option, college students appear to select health and wellness courses that match their current activity levels. These courses do not significantly change the average student’s behavior or attitudes about physical activity.

Agans is with the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management; Wilson and Bopp are with the Department of Kinesiology; The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA.

Agans (jxa912@psu.edu) is corresponding author.
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