This study examined the effect of using physical activity homework on physical activity levels of college students.
Students in randomly assigned sections of a university health course were assigned 30 minutes of physical activity homework 3 days a week or no homework for 12 weeks. Participants completed self-reports of physical activity before the homework intervention and again at the conclusion of the 12 weeks of physical activity homework.
Participants in all course sections reported significant increases in the number of days per week of moderate and vigorous physical activity. Participants in homework sections additionally showed significant increases in the days they engaged in muscular strength/endurance training and activities to manage weight. Participants in sections without homework showed a significant increase in the number of days engaged in flexibility training. Comparison of gain scores showed statistically significant increases by the homework group in the days they participated in activities designed to manage weight.
Physical activity homework was deemed to be an effective method of increasing college students’ levels of physical activity.
The authors are with the Dept of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC 28723.