Jonathan J. Ruiz-Ramie, Mervin Jijika, Kenneth S. Anderson, Andrew Craig-Jones, Daniel R. Greene. Augusta University, Augusta, GA.

BACKGROUND: College students, on average, experience significant weight and body fat gain throughout their time in higher education. Many universities require physical activity courses, which may be used to influence student lifestyle behaviors and attitudes towards living a physically active lifestyle. Furthermore, increased physical activity and exercise through these courses may aid in relieving some of the weight gain and body composition changes that students experience. Thus, our study is aimed at assessing and comparing body weight and compositional changes among students enrolled in university physical activity courses. METHODS: Height, weight, blood pressure, as well as waist and hip circumferences were measured within the first two weeks of the academic semester (baseline) and final two weeks of the semester (post). Body composition was also measured at these times via Inbody 570 bioelectrical impedance. 18 undergraduate students were recruited from either a control group (C, N=8) which were not enrolled in any activity courses, weight training (WT, N=7) or jogging (J, N=3) activity courses. Differential changes in body composition measures were assessed via multivariable linear regression. All models were adjusted for age, sex, group, and baseline trait (i.e. body fat change adjusted for baseline body fat) RESULTS: Intervention group was independently associated with changes in multiple outcomes, including systolic blood pressure (SBP), weight, percent body fat, trunk fat mass, and overall body fat. The WT group [(Mean (M) ± Standard Deviation (SD)); 7.86 ± 2.74 mmHg] decreased their systolic pressure more so than the C group [(M ± SD); 2.71 ± 4.11 mmHg: p <.01] . The C group gained weight [(M ± SD); 2.36 ± 0.70 lbs] while the J [(M ± SD); -3.43 ± 3.06 lbs] and WT groups [(M ± SD); -2.44 ± 1.29 lbs: p =0.02] lost weight. Similarly, percent body fat increased following C [(M ± SD); 1.10 ± 0.48] and decreased post J [(M ± SD); -1.23 ± 0.62] and WT [(M ± SD); -0.80 ± 0.33: p =0.02], Trunk fat mass increased post C [(M ± SD); 1.55 ± 0.38], and decreased post J [(M ± SD); -1.63 ± 0.94] and WT [(M ± SD); -0.93 ± 0.36; p<0.01] Finally, overall body fat increased post C[(M ± SD); 2.73 ± 0.92], but decreased post J [(M ± SD); -2.33 ± 1.58] and WT [(M ± SD); -2.31 ± 0.99; p =0.03]. There were no significant differences in these changes between J and WT. CONCLUSIONS: College students enrolled in weight training and/or jogging activity classes may experience significant beneficial changes to body composition as well as blood pressure metrics during and immediately after their enrollment in these classes.

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