Effects of a Short-term Group Fitness Intervention on Body Composition and Exercise Motivation in College Students
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to test the impact of a short-term group fitness intervention on body weight, percent body fat, and attitude toward physical activity in college students. Twenty sedentary students (mean age 20.4 +/- 1.4 yr) were classified as healthy, normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.9 kg/m^2) or overweight (BMI >25 kg/m^2), and then randomized into exercise and control groups. The exercise group participated in four aerobic fitness classes per week for 4 weeks, while the control subjects remained sedentary. Percent body fat was measured by BodPod and attitude toward physical activity was measured via questionnaire (Martin Questionnaire) at baseline and the end of the study. Using univariate analysis of variance, we found significant differences in change in percent body fat between the healthy-control and overweight-control groups (- 1.1 +/- 0.8 vs. 1.8 +/- 0.9%, P=0.034) and between the healthy-exercise and the overweight-control groups (-2.2 +/- 1.0 vs. 1.8 +/- 0.9%, P=0.010). These findings support the notion that even at a young age, overweight individuals are more susceptible to weight gain and may need increased amounts of exercise or encouragement in addition to restricted diets to produce weight loss. Using the motivation questions, 80% of participants reported that group fitness provided motivation to continue exercise.
Degree ProgramHonors College