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Halle N. Brin1, Samantha R. Kopp1, Evan L. Hutcheson1, Mohan D. Perumal1, Allison M. Barry1, Michael J. Carper1 1Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas

Research has shown that there is a decline in activity levels as students’ progress through high school and enter college. The decline in activity levels may contribute to increases in obesity rates, declines in cardiorespiratory fitness(CRF),and an overall increase in the onset of pathological disease states. PURPOSE: To examine associations among percent body fat (%BF), waist circumference(WC), grip strength(GS), and CRF in college-aged freshman. METHODS: College freshman in a fitness concepts class participated in this study. Subjects completed the following tests: Tanita to assess %BF; hand dynamometer to assess GS , and the Tecumseh sub-maximal step test, using heart rate recovery, to estimate CRF. A step-wise linear regression was used to determine associations among %BF, waist circumference, and grip strength, and CRF. RESULTS: College freshman (n=410; age:18.6 ±0.5; BMI: 24.8 ±5.7, estimated VO2max:59.9±9.1) completed the study. This data indicate that %BF was the only significant predictor of cardiorespiratory fitness (F(3,409)=30.5, r2= 0.2, p<0.001). Waist circumference and grip strength were trending toward significance (p= 0.08 and 0.07, re-respectively.) CONCLUSION: Based on the results from this study, we have demonstrated that the measurement of percent body fat, in college-aged freshman, is a good predictor of CRF. Although not significant, yet trending towards significance, waist circumference and grip strength could also be utilized to assist in predicting CRF. The measurements of percent body fat, waist circumference, and grip strength can be measured with inexpensive equipment and should be used as metrics if/when an exercise prescription is to be prescribed for college freshman wanting to engage in daily physical activity.

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