K. Taylor, A. Garcia, C. Macharia

Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

The American Fitness Index (AFI) analyzes a composite of health behaviors and outcomes, community infrastructure, and census data. The AFI ranks US cities on health and fitness metrics but may be able to be used in other areas and communities. College campuses provide a unique opportunity to determine areas of excellence for promoting healthy active lifestyles in young people as well as highlight opportunities for improvement. To date, the AFI toolkit has not been modified for the assessment of health behaviors and infrastructure on college campuses. PURPOSE: To modify the AFI toolkit for use on college campuses and to assess students’ engagement in healthy behaviors. METHODS: A descriptive, cross-sectional study design was used. Institutional data was used to determine demographics of the college campus. Secondly, data was collected from college students (n=78) regarding health behaviors through an online survey using previously validated instruments. Infrastructure assessments included campus walkability and geographic measurements to determine proximity to recreational facilities. RESULTS: Institutional data showed 60% of students were female, 32% were first generation, 61% were White, and 23% were Pell-eligible. Survey data indicated that under half of students reported their health as ‘Very Good’. On average, students reported sitting for 5.4 h/day, sleeping for 6.8 h/night, and were classified as overweight (26.5 kg/m2). Most students met the recommended intake of dark green vegetables (81.9%) but had inadequate intake of orange vegetables (30.1%) and lean proteins (23.1%). Further, campus walkability scores were rated higher inside of campus (23.3/30) compared to outer campus (16.5/30). Twelve outdoor recreation facilities were found within one mile of the campus. CONCLUSIONS: Modification of the AFI toolkit may be used to assess the health and infrastructure of college campuses. This assessment highlights the need to empower students to engage in healthy active lifestyles and positive nutritional practices. The institution should consider opportunities to improve walkability surrounding campus. Future research would be beneficial to utilize the modified toolkit in assessing campus health and allowing for comparisons across institutions.

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