International Journal of Exercise Science 15(4): 1064-1074, 2022. Many university students experienced changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, including potential changes in physical activity (PA) levels and living situation. As PA behaviors in young adulthood help establish life-long habits and future health outcomes, the purpose of this study was to investigate overall change in PA, as well as change in PA due to living situation, among private university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Private university students (n = 109) between 18 and 25 years of age completed an online survey that included the International Physical Activity Questionnaire – Short Form. T-tests examined changes in overall time spent in PA from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the differences in MET-minute distributions between groups. Students performed significantly less activity during the COVID-19 pandemic than before (t(108) = 3.51, p = .001, d = 0.493), with 70.6% of all students meeting exercise recommendations before the pandemic and 51.4% after. Students living with vs. without a parent/guardian attained similar PA levels (t(107) = -.114, p = .910) before the pandemic (73.1% vs. 69.9%, respectively), but students living with a parent/guardian engaged in significantly less PA (t(107) = 2.04, p = .044, d = 0.475) than those living without a parent/guardian during the pandemic (37.5% vs. 57.1%, respectively). The declines in PA suggest the need for targeted interventions and education among private university students. In order to maximize the health benefits of PA, it is crucial that activity engagement return to at least pre-COVID-19 levels.
Gonzalez Villarreal, Eduardo; Kabiri, Laura S.; Diep, Cassandra S.; Perkins, Hedi Y.; Perkins-Ball, Amanda M.; and Rodriguez, Augusto X.
"Living Situation and Physical Activity in the COVID-19 Pandemic Among American Private University Students,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 15
4, Pages 1064 - 1074.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol15/iss4/24