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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology


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Original articles  SPORT PSYCHOLOGY


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2002 March;42(1):113-9

language: English

Evaluation of a university course aimed at promoting exercise behavior

Cardinal B. J. 1, Jacques K. M. 2, Levy S. S. 3

1 Department of Exercise and Sport Science Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
2 National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
3 Department of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA


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Background. This ­study ­assessed a 10-­week, uni­ver­sity-­required lifetime fitness for health (LFH) ­course on ­students’ lei­sure-­time exer­cise behav­ior and advance­ment ­through the stag­es of ­change for exer­cise.
Methods. Experimental ­design: a qua­si-experi­men­tal ­design was ­employed. Setting: pub­lic uni­ver­sity locat­ed in the United States. Participants: a ­total of 540 stu­dents who ­were ­enrolled in an LFH ­course or select­ed psy­chol­o­gy cours­es vol­un­teered to par­tic­i­pate in ­this ­study. Intervention: a 30-­hour LFH ­course admin­is­tered ­over 10 ­weeks. The ­course was deliv­ered ­both in a lec­ture and lab for­mat. The con­trol con­di­tion con­sist­ed of psy­chol­o­gy cours­es. Measures: week­ly lei­sure-­time exer­cise behav­ior and ­stage of ­change for exer­cise behav­ior ­were ­assessed ­using val­id and reli­able ­self-­report ques­tion­naires at pre- and post­-inter­ven­tion.
Results. Regardless of ­course, ­students’ ­showed min­i­mal chang­es in ­their exer­cise lev­els ­from pre- to post-­inter­ven­tion. Moreover, stu­dents in the LFH ­course did not ­improve ­their ­stage of ­change for exer­cise behav­ior as ­much stu­dents in the psy­chol­o­gy cours­es. Regardless of ­course, ­participants’ ­stage of ­change for exer­cise was an impor­tant mod­er­a­tor var­i­able asso­ciat­ed ­with exer­cise behav­ior ­change.
Conclusions. As was ­taught, the LFH ­course did lit­tle to ­change the ­participants’ exer­cise lev­els out­side of ­class, and did lit­tle to pos­i­tive­ly influ­ence the ­participants’ ­stage of ­change for exer­cise behav­ior.

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