Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Among young college-aged females, overweight and obesity, type 2 diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension, and high stress levels have increased, causing overall worse health conditions than previous generations. The use of wearable fitness technology (WFT) by young adults assists in fitness and nutrition monitoring, provides feedback in health statistics, and has shown improvements in reducing health-related issues in young college females. A wide body of literature related to physical activity, nutrition, and health issues in young college females exists; however, the experiences and intent of WFT use for behavior change by young college female millennials has not been well researched. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the lived experiences of young college females' intent for behavior change with WFT. The health belief model was the theoretical framework used for this study. Ten college females, 18-25 years of age, attending colleges in northern West Virginia, who were collecting data from a WFT for a minimum of six months completed individual face-to-face interviews. Data were analyzed using phenomenological thematic analysis. Results from the study revealed young college females use WFT to increase physical activity, identify calorie intake and energy expenditure, and monitor heart rate, sleep, and stress to decrease and prevent health issues. These results can provide evidence for other researchers to address the current health inequalities in young college adults. Positive social change implications could include the value of WFT regarding the growing evidence of the importance of physical activity and nutrition by young female college students related to positive health outcomes and reducing health issues in this specific population.