TitlePhysical Activity, Nutrition, and Self-Perception Changes Related to a University "Lifetime Fitness for Health" Curriculum
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWoekel, E, Ebbeck, V, Concepcion, RY, Readdy, T, Li, K-K, Lee, H, Cardinal, BJ
JournalPhysical Educator
ISBN Number0031-8981, 0031-8981
KeywordsCollege Programs, Current Index to Journals in Education (CIJE), ERIC, Focus Groups, Health Behavior, Health Programs, Health Related Fitness, Higher Education, Knowledge Level, Nutrition, Pacific Northwest, Participant Satisfaction, Physical Activities, Physical Activity Level, Program Effectiveness, Self Concept, Semi Structured Interviews, undergraduate students

Undergraduate college students are at a crucial point in the development of significant health behaviors, most notably related to physical activity and dietary intake. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively determine whether participation in a Lifetime Fitness for Health (LFH) curriculum in college had short-term and long-term benefits with regard to physical activity behaviors, nutrition behaviors, and self-concept. The study took place at a university in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and included 20 undergraduate students (15 female, five male; primarily freshman and sophomores). Semistructured focus groups were conducted 10 weeks (n = 11) and 1 year (n = 9) after students completed a LFH course. Six 60- to 90-min focus group interviews occurred. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed by two researchers who worked independently to organize participant responses, ultimately achieving agreement into major thematic categories. The four themes identified were (a) awareness and knowledge of general fitness and nutrition principles, (b) short-term (10-week) benefits in overall physical activity levels and nutrition behaviors, (c) long-term (1-year) benefits in physical activity levels and nutrition behaviors, and (d) benefits to self-perceptions. LFH courses create awareness through providing factual information and practical strategies for health behavior changes at a transitional time to adulthood.