The global COVID-19 pandemic may be detrimental to a college student’s motivation to exercise with less physical activity (PA) levels recorded, possibly due to the closure of gyms or home isolation. While little is known about self-efficacy for exercise (SEE) in college students, how it relates to age in this population during a pandemic needs further investigation. PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between SEE and PA levels in college students and if age was a factor. It was hypothesized that SEE would be positively associated with PA status and negatively to college student age, especially with many engaging in remote learning. METHODS: Individuals enrolled in college (N=84, male, n= 32, female, n= 49, age range, 19-47 years) were asked to complete an IRB approved Qualtrics survey mid-semester (Spring 2021) which included demographic information along with the total minutes spent in PA at various intensity levels (vigorous, moderate or walking), using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form (IPAQ-SF) and SEE (Resnick et al., 2000) scale. The SEE scale gauges motivation to exercise using a Likert scale from 0 -10 (0=low and 10=high SEE levels). All data was analyzed using a Spearman Rank Order Correlation with a p-value of 0.05 for significance (IBM, SPSS v.27). RESULTS: No significant correlation was found between age and SEE although significant and trending relationships were found between total minutes spent in PA during 7 days, rho=0.327, p=0.011; vigorous intensity PA, rho=0.409, p=0.000, moderate intensity PA, rho=0.221, p=0.066, or walking/low intensity PA, rho=0.243, p=0.043 and SEE. CONCLUSION: A college student's motivation to be physically active may lead to more time spent in PA and is not related to age of the individual. Health and wellness professionals should consider motivational factors when prescribing PA for health benefits during a pandemic.
Becerra, Angelez; Hughes, Andrea; and Dunn, Sarah L. Ph.D.
"College Student Self-Efficacy for Exercise in Relation to Reported Physical Activity Levels During the COVID-19 Pandemic,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 14:
1, Article 14.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol14/iss1/14