College is a crucial time for young adults to develop healthy lifestyle habits. Increased academic and social demands can cause students to decrease their physical activity levels and negatively impact their overall health. One-credit fitness courses offered by universities may combat sedentarism and improve mental health. PURPOSE: To investigate health-related fitness and psychosocial well-being measures in college aged students taking one-credit fitness courses. METHODS: Eight college-aged students (19.91 ± 1.92yrs) enrolled in a one-credit fitness course completed a total of two sessions, ten weeks apart. The tests were comprised of the same four health measures (body mass index, blood pressure, resting heart rate, body fat percentage), four fitness measures (aerobic capacity, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility), and three psychosocial well-being measures (perceived stress, self-esteem, physical activity). Paired samples t-tests (α = 0.05) supplemented by Cohen’s d effect sizes were conducted to assess the impact of one-credit fitness courses on students’ health-related fitness and psychosocial well-being. RESULTS: Muscular endurance significantly increased, as students were able to complete an average of five additional push-ups (Pre: 15.25 ± 8.38 vs. Post: 20.63 ± 7.41reps, t(7) = -3.71, p=0.008, d = -0.73). In contrast, muscular strength significantly decreased (Pre: 63.88 ± 10.12 vs. Post: 59.94 ± 11.44 kg, t(7) = 2.48, p=0.042, d = 0.39). No significant differences were observed for the health-related fitness and psychosocial well-being measures (p>0.05). CONCLUSIONS: One-credit fitness courses can maintain a healthy level of stress and self-esteem and moderately improve muscular endurance in college students. Universities might consider the ability of one-credit fitness courses to maintain or improve students’ mental and physical health.
Harris, Katie; Mikan, Vanessa PhD; and Harry, John PhD
"Influence of One-Credit Fitness Courses on Physical Fitness and Psychosocial Well-Being in a Sample of College Students,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 2:
14, Article 118.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol2/iss14/118