Focus on Freshman: Basic Instruction Programs Enhancing Physical Activity
Keywords:Physical Activity, Basic Instruction Program
Physical activity sharply decreases after different life stages, particularly high school graduation to beginning university education. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a specifically designed university physical activity class, Exercise Planning for Freshman (EPF), on students' physical activity and group cohesion compared to other basic instruction programs (BIPs) offered on campus. Specific study questions included (a) what are students' perceptions of the classes, (b) how do group cohesion levels compare between students enrolled in EPF and those enrolled in other activity classes, (c) how does physical activity engagement compare between the two groups, and (d) is there a difference between men and women in terms of group cohesion and physical activity levels? Participants (n = 108) were university freshman students enrolled in seven integral BIP courses at a mid-sized university. Data were collected across four consecutive semesters and analyzed using constant comparison for qualitative data (i.e., Critical Incident) and ANOVA, ANCOVA, and t tests for quantitative data (i.e., PAGEQ, 3-Day Bouchard, and 7-DPAR). Treatment group participants had higher energy expenditure than control group participants at the beginning and end of the semester, yet there were no significant differences. It is understood that students enrolled in university BIP courses are likely to incorporate physical activity into their everyday routine. For group cohesion to have a significant effect, more steps need to be taken to accentuate its presence in EPF.
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