The Examination of Fitness Patterns in College Students

Faculty Sponsor

Lissa Yogan


Arts and Sciences


Research Methods in Sociology

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-4-2017


Fitness is widely acknowledged as an important element in maintaining a person’s health and well-being. As a person gets older, however, patterns in exercising and fitness tend to change. This has been shown to be true for college students, due to multiple factors that change after high school. They are adapting to a new lifestyle and environment, are subject to different pressures and motivations, and have greater opportunities for exercise. This proposed research is aimed at examining common fitness patterns in college students and the factors --such as gender and socioeconomic status -- that may affect these patterns. This will be accomplished through a survey designed with items that ask participants to identify specific fitness activities they engage (or do not engage) in, and various demographics of the student. The survey will be sent out to undergraduate students at Valparaiso University through their university email. We hope to discern through survey results the primary factors impacting how college students engage in fitness activities, as well as characteristics of these fitness patterns. We predict that changes in pressures and opportunities cause college students to exercise more. By examining fitness patterns in college students through our research, we hope to offer insights into possible factors affecting health in young adults and guidelines for fitness habits that promote improving health and well-being. Our research will also call for more examination in how to improve fitness habits in college students, as well as further research exploring how fitness is related to overall health in students.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Anna Rafanelli is a junior pursuing criminology and psychology degrees. She has taken courses that have focused on social institutions, such as education and the criminal justice system. Her future plans include attending law school and continuing after in a career as an attorney.

Kelly Rayner is a sophomore majoring in criminology and psychology. She has attended multiple sociology classes and has been an athlete for the majority of her life. Her interests are to continue to a career in federal law enforcement.

Sarah West is a junior majoring in sociology and criminology, with a minor in German. She hopes to gain a position with the federal probation and pretrial service in Hammond, Indiana.

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