International Journal of Exercise Science 10(7): 1009-1017, 2017. Despite the known benefits of regular physical activity, research shows a significant decline in physical activity participation and an increase in sedentary behavior during young adulthood during the college years. Studies examining the relationship between academic outcomes and fitness/physical activity have not extensively examined this among college students. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between fitness measures (cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition), physical activity, and academic outcomes in college students. This cross-sectional study had college students complete a one-time fitness assessment and survey examining their physical activity and academic factors (GPA, study habits, course load). Correlations examined relationships between fitness, physical activity and academic outcomes, t-tests compared differences for fitness and behavioral outcomes between groups by academic factors. The final sample (n=512) was 50.4% male, 78% Non-Hispanic White, and 67% upperclassmen. The majority (76%) of participants reported meeting current PA guidelines. Hours of studying and social media use were both positively associated with body fat. Course load was negatively associated with vigorous activity. Study time was negatively associated with cardiovascular endurance, positively associated with hip flexibility and sedentary behavior. Higher GPA was associated with a higher BMI and a higher credit load was associated with less vigorous physical activity. These findings indicated that academic outcomes and physical activity may have a different relationship among college students compared with younger age groups. This study provides insight for the development of future campus-based health initiatives to have a shared focus of academic outcomes and physical activity.
Calestine, Jesse; Bopp, Melissa; Bopp, Christopher M.; and Papalia, Zack
"College Student Work Habits are Related to Physical Activity and Fitness,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 10
7, Pages 1009 - 1017.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol10/iss7/8