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J Am Coll Health. 2004 Jul-Aug;53(1):28-34.

Physical activity, exercise, and sedentary behavior in college students.

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School of Physical Activity and Educational Services, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1284, USA.


The authors examined the relationship between physical activity, exercise, and sedentary behaviors in 493 college students who were enrolled in 10 conditioning activity classes and had completed questionnaires at the beginning of the course. They analyzed sedentary activities and indicators of participation in exercise and physical activity by demographic variables. Surveyed men reported greater participation in physical activity and exercise than did women, and they also spent more time watching television/videos and using the computer. Older students were more likely to report more computer use, whereas younger students scored higher on several physical activity indicators. Of the sedentary behaviors, only computer use for men and television watching for women were negatively correlated with exercise and physical activity. In addition to accessibility and reinforcing properties of sedentary activities, the gender-related relationships between sedentary and active behaviors should be considered in designing interventions to promote exercise in this population.

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