The Freshman Fifteen is a well-known term referring to weight gain that commonly occurs soon after starting college. And with weight gain often comes less activity and therefore a decrease in fitness levels. This combination can be detrimental to overall health. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if there were any significant differences in fitness levels between incoming college freshman and graduating college seniors. METHODS: Participants in this study included a mix of female (n=8) and male (n=18) students from Texas Lutheran University (19.73± 1.66). They were all Kinesiology majors and a mix of athletes (n=18) and non-athletes (n=8), which was evenly distributed between freshman and seniors, along with gender. Following a warmup, they all participated in three fitness tests, which included a 3-minute step test, a sit and reach test, and push-up test. RESULTS: Three independent t-tests (p ≤ 0.05) showed no significant differences in all three tests. The step test revealed that freshmen had a slightly higher VO2 (mL·kg-1 ·min-1) (49.56± 9.05) compared to seniors (48.78 ± 8.82), with a p-value of 0.82. The sit and reach test, which was measured in centimeters, showed that seniors (33.65 ±8.60) had higher scores compared to the freshmen (28.12 ± 10.06), with a p-value of 0.14. Lastly, in the push-up test, the freshmen (36.62 ± 19.05) had higher results than the seniors (27.62 ± 8.38), with a p-value of 0.13. CONCLUSION: Incoming freshmen were evaluated slightly higher in two out of three fitness tests, yet no significant differences were found. Based on these results, there is no significant difference between the fitness levels in freshman and seniors. Yet, a larger sample size could reveal a different outcome. Further research will include comparing the same students over time to see what changes occur from their freshman to senior year.



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