Jamie Aweau, Marvin Stucks, Michael Colacicco, Greg Farnell, Ed Cunliff, & Melissa Powers University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma

Participation in regular physical activity provides many benefits to general health. Among children and adolescents, physical activity also appears to have a positive impact on academic performance. The relationship between physical activity and academic performance of college students is not well studied. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to explore patterns of physical activity in relationship to self-reported GPA of students who completed the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA). METHODS: The ACHA-NCHA was administered in a core general health course to 1,600 students. The response rate was 64% (n = 772). This study examined patterns of moderate exercise, vigorous exercise, and strength training (number of days participating) as well as meeting physical activity guidelines (yes or no) by GPA (A, B, C, D/F) using non-parametric tests and descriptive statistics. All analyses were conducted separately for males and females. RESULTS: More males (55.0%) than females (41.4%) reported meeting the physical activity guidelines. For GPA, more females reported A/B (82.4%) compared to males (77.4%). When examining the exercise participation variables by GPA, one difference approached significance (p = .06). Women reporting higher GPA (A or B) were more likely to participate in moderate exercise on a greater number of days than those with a lower GPA. The percent of females reporting zero days of moderate activity increased as the self-reported GPA decreased (22% for A to 42.9% for D/F). On the other hand, the percent of females reporting 4 days of moderate exercise decreased as GPA decreased from 9.2% for A to 0.0% for D/F. Unfortunately, so few women report high levels of moderate activity that it is hard to confidently make inferences from these data. No significant trends were observed for males. The difference in GPA by meeting physical activity guidelines was non-significant in both males and females (p> .05). CONCLUSION: No significant patterns of physical activity by GPA were observed in this analysis; however, this topic deserves further study due to limitations associated with this data set such as self-reporting. Further study of physical activity and GPA should be conducted using measurement of actual physical activity levels and GPA among college students.

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