An analysis of undergraduate physical education curricula on students' health behaviors
Ciccomascolo, Lori Ellen
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The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of two types of undergraduate physical education classes, Wellness and Fitness, on health behaviors of college students. More specifically, this study investigated pre-and post- changes in the students' Stages of Change, weight preoccupation, Processes of Change, exercise adherence, and physical health components (such as heart rate, body composition, body weight, and cardiorespiratory fitness). Due to inconsistencies with the Wellness and Fitness groups' curricula during the semester, this study ultimately examined only Stages of Change, weight preoccupation, and Processes of Change. Three questionnaires, Exercise Program and Stages of Change, Processes of Change, and Weight Preoccupation were administered to all one hundred and fifty six subjects, ranging in age from 18-35 years( mean age 21.2 ± 3 yrs.), in the Fitness and Wellness courses in the beginning of the Fall, 2000 Semester. A fourth questionnaire, a modified version of the original Stages of Change, was given at the end of the semester along with the same Processes of Change and weight preoccupation questionnaires given at the beginning of the semester. Subjects were also given a 4-month calendar to track their exercise done both inside and outside of class. A 3-Month Follow-up Stages of Change questionnaire was administered to all subjects by email and/or phone. A one way ANOV A showed a significant difference in the d score for the Stages of Change in the Wellness group versus the Fitness Group (p=.0271). Further discussion of the results may suggest that students in the Wellness group had more social interaction with peers and their instructor and were able to focus on attaining their health behavior goals. Also, students in Wellness courses may have learned why they should balance their physical, social, and emotional dimensions in life and not just how to do so. Conversely, the focus of fitness based ceurses is primarily on the physical dimension.
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