Title

An Evaluation of a College Exercise Leader Program: Using Exercise Science Students as Advocates for Behavior Modification

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2014

Originally Published In

Journal of Physical Activity and Health

Volume Number

11

Issue Number

8

Page Numbers

1635-1639

Abstract

Background:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate a college’s exercise leadership program, which was developed to help students, faculty and staff implement behavior changes necessary to begin and maintain a comprehensive exercise program. Methods:

From 2006–2011, a total 66 subjects were recruited and each was assigned to a student exercise leader. Based on comprehensive baseline assessments, each student designed an individualized exercise program for his/her subject. At program completion, the subjects were reassessed. Results:

Paired t tests were used to find significant statistical changes (P < .05) among the fitness components. Significant changes as a function of the 6-week exercise program were observed in body weight, body fat percentage, waist circumference, 1-mile walk time, sit-ups, push-ups, and trunk flexion. Conclusions:

Getting started is the most difficult step, but beginning an exercise program has immediate benefits. Institutions of higher education are addressing issues of wellness as a means for increasing graduation, retention, and productivity rates among their campus constituents. These efforts are part of a collaborative effort initiated by the American College Health Association known as Healthy Campus 2020. The findings from this study have a direct impact on programmatic efforts.