Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Influence of Exercise Identity on College Students' Physical Fitness

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Influence of Exercise Identity on College Students' Physical Fitness

Article excerpt

Physical inactivity in the U.S. has reached epidemic proportions. Physically active children and adolescents develop and maintain higher rates of physical fitness into adulthood and are more likely to be physically active adults (Telama, Yang, Laakso, & Viikari, 1997). Children in the U.S. are at an increased risk of obesity because of increasingly more sedentary lifestyles (Anderson, 1999, Brodney, Blair, & Lee, 2000). By the time many students reach college bad exercise and eating habits have become entrenched into their personal lifestyles. However, new positive behaviors can be learned and incorporated into daily routines to enhance individual fitness levels during college and beyond. Sociologists suggest that role identities serve to give meaning and importance to past behaviors as well as provide direction for future behaviors (Anderson, Cychosz, & Franke, 2001). The purpose of the present study was to examine the influence of exercise identity on physical fitness indicators in undergraduate university students. One hundred eleven (77 women, and 34 men) undergraduate students enrolled in Health/Wellness courses participated in the study. The Exercise Identity Scale (Anderson & Cychosz, 1995) was used to measure an individual's perception of exercise as it contributes to role-identity, while FitCalc (Division of Dehn Enterprises, L. …

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