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Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Science in Exercise and Sport Studies, Behavioral Studies



Major Advisor

Lynda Ransdell, Ph.D


Physical activity (PA) declines as an individual transitions from high school to college. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine predictors of PA among non-traditional aged college students from Boise State University using 2011 National College Health Assessment (NCHA) data. A total of 949 students (mean age = 26.52, SD = 8.95) completed an online NCHA survey in the Fall of 2011. A subset of demographic, personal, sociocultural, and environmental items was examined in the analysis. Logistic regression was used to identify significant predictors of recommended levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and strength exercise (SE) participation.

About 43.4% of students in this sample were either overweight or obese and 68% did not meet the MVPA or SE recommendations. Current health status [β =.82 (MVPA), β =.95(SE)] and knowledge about PA [β =.43 (MVPA), β = .52 (SE)] were significant predictors of recommended MVPA and SE participation (p <.05). Interest in receiving information about PA (β = .33), perceived safety (β = .20), overall stress (β = -.19), male gender (β = -.67), and younger age (β = -.04) explained additional variance in whether students met the SE recommendation (p <.05). Students who lived on-campus (β = -.64) or were underweight or desired weight (β = -.39) were more likely to meet the MVPA recommendation than those who lived off-campus or were overweight or obese (p <.05).

Findings have implications for increasing PA in this sample. Given the potential impact of knowledge on MVPA and SE, a required course on active lifestyles is recommended for non-traditional students. Additional research should be done to determine additional predictors of physical activity in college students.