BACKGROUND: Engagement in physical activity, outdoor leisure, and healthful eating habits are imperative for overall well-being. The purpose of the investigation was to examine physical activity, outdoor leisure, and eating habits to further our efforts in the Exercise is Medicine On-Campus (EIM-OC) initiative. METHODS: College students (n = 173) were recruited and completed a confidential online self-reported survey consisting of four questionnaires: Physical Activity and Outdoor Leisure Questionnaire, Barriers to Outdoor and Physical Activities, Motivators to Outdoor and Physical Activities, and the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26). RESULTS: The Physical Activity and Outdoor Leisure questionnaire (n = 120) responses revealed 86% of students were aware of the health benefits associated with physical activity. Despite awareness of the benefits, only 65% reported meeting the aerobic physical activity guidelines each week (150 min·wk-1 of moderate-intensity or 75 min·wk-1 of vigorous intensity exercise). Responses indicated 65% of students participated in at least 20 minutes of outdoor physical activity and 56% spent time outdoors at least 2-3 times each week. Lack of time, weather, and exposure to outdoor pests were the top reported barriers to participation in outdoor leisure. Students reported their top motivators were stress reduction, keeping physically fit, and getting away from the usual demands. EAT-26 responses revealed 13% of students presented with a score of 20 or higher, indicating a high level of concern about problematic eating behaviors. No significant differences were observed between students majoring in exercise science when compared to other majors (p = 0.174). However, disordered eating was significantly greater in students who were not athletes (p = 0.022). CONCLUSIONS: Students demonstrated a reasonable level of awareness regarding the advantages of adhering to physical activity guidelines. However, there remains a significant scope for enhancing their compliance with these recommendations and allocating more time to outdoor leisure activities. Furthermore, the noteworthy occurrence of disordered eating habits among non-athletic students is a cause for concern, suggesting a potential necessity for comprehensive on-campus educational initiatives aimed at promoting healthy eating patterns across all student populations.

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