UNDERSTANDING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AWARENESS IN NUTRITIONAL SCIENCE STUDENTS
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIntroduction- Nutritional science students are taught within their curriculum the national recommendation for weekly moderate-vigorous physical activity. The objective of this study was to understand the awareness of the national physical activity recommendation for moderate-vigorous exercise (150 min/week), where most nutrition students obtain their recommendations, and if their awareness and knowledge affected their behaviors. Methods- Using 10-question survey, 331 introductory level nutritional science students and 89 upper division nutritional science students were asked an array of questions. The questions involved demographic questions, how often they exercise, how many servings of fruits and vegetables they eat a day, if they knew the weekly physical activity recommendation, and where they have required most of their physical activity knowledge from. Results- Of total student responses, 70.9% (n=295) responded that they did not know the physical activity recommendation, leaving 29.1% (n=121) saying that they did. Of the 121 who responded saying that they did know the recommendation, 18% of these students (n=22) knew the recommendation exactly, with an additional 36 students over estimating the recommendation. It was seen that males exercised significantly more often than females (p <.001). Additionally, looking at ethnicity as a factor, it was seen that African Americans exercised significantly less than whites (p=.02). There was a significant positive association between the amount of people who exercised and whether they knew the recommendation (p=.0031). A positive association was seen between the amount of people who exercised and whether or not they had the recommendation correct (p=.0041). Conclusion-Nutritional science students who are not exercising often do not know the physical activity recommendation, despite being taught in their curriculum. Students are obtaining their knowledge from a vast variety of sources, but there is still a need for widespread awareness of the national recommendation.
Degree ProgramHonors College