PERCEPTIONS OF THE EXERCISE IS MEDICINE ON CAMPUS INITIATIVE AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS
Samantha Cohen-Winans, Kaitlyn Armstrong, M. Allison Ford. The University of Mississippi, University, MS.
BACKGROUND: Many health benefits are evident with increased physical activity (PA) levels. However, research has shown a significant decline in PA among college students, with over half not meeting the recommended guidelines for PA. The Exercise is Medicine On Campus (EIM-OC) initiative incorporates both definitional parameters of the term, medicine, which refers to the science of treatment and prevention. How students define medicine may result in a misperception of EIM-OC initiatives if exercise is viewed as analogous to medicine. The purpose of this study was to examine how college students perceive the term medicine, perceive the EIM-OC initiative, and examine if there is a relationship between the perceptions of medicine and the EIM-OC initiative. METHODS: A sample of 200 college students (age 23.26.3 y, 64% female) at a large rural southeastern university completed an online survey about their perception of medicine, familiarity and perception of the EIM-OC initiative, and selected demographic factors. The proportion of participants who provided a response that fit into the a priori defined categories for medicine was calculated. The proportion of students who correctly identified what the EIM-OC initiative is referring to was also calculated. A Pearson chi-square test was used to examine if there is a relationship between students’ perceptions of medicine and the EIM-OC initiative. RESULTS: Only 7.5% of students defined medicine as having preventive and treatment aspects. Over half (54.5%) of students described medicine as having treatment and management aspects with no mention of prevention. Over one-third of students (38%) did not provide a definition that aligned with prevention or treatment. Notably, 73.5% of students indicated that the EIM-OC initiative refers to a therapeutic role for the prevention and management of chronic disease. There was no statistically significant relationship between students’ perceptions of medicine and the EIM-OC initiative (chi-square=10.13, p=0.12). CONCLUSIONS: A low proportion of college students defined medicine as having preventive factors. Despite the absence of a significant relationship between the perceptions of medicine and the EIM-OC initiative, more effort is needed to educate college students about the preventive and treatment facets of medicine.
Cohen-Winans, S; Armstrong, K; and Ford, MA
"PERCEPTIONS OF THE EXERCISE IS MEDICINE ON CAMPUS INITIATIVE AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 16:
1, Article 102.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol16/iss1/102