Date of Award

Fall 11-21-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Kinesiology and Sport Management

First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Pickett

Second Advisor

Dr. Whitney Lucas-Molitor

Third Advisor

Michele Turner


Exercise, Physical Activity, College Students, Physical Health, Mental Health

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences | Movement and Mind-Body Therapies | Sports Sciences


Introduction: Many individuals are not attaining the World Health Organization and American Heart Association’s recommendations for daily physical activity. Physical activity habits are developed during young adulthood and it is therefore important to study barriers to physical activity in college students.

Objectives: Investigate the relationship between college student’s physical activity and their overall health. Methods: Data was collected by circulating an online survey to students on the University of South Dakota campus. Several survey questions were used from the SF-36 and the National College Health Assessment. Measures included mental health, physical activity, overall health, diet, and sleep habits.

Results: Results showed a positive relationship between physical activity and perceived mental and physical health. Physical activity rates declined from high school to college according to self-reported measures. Healthy eating habits were correlated with a higher rate of physical activity and perceived better health. Sleeping habits were not found to be correlated with physical activity rates and perceived health.

Conclusion: I recommend colleges provide more cost effective and accessible physical activity options for students.



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