Demographic trends in Utah college students' vigorous physical activity, 2003-2007

Emery R. Eaves, Timothy K. Behrens, Mary K. Dinger, Lisa Hines, Danielle R. Brittain, Vanessa J. Harbour

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: This analysis of a large-scale survey of college students from 2003 to 2007 explores relationships between meeting vigorous physical activity (VPA) recommendations and key demographic, lifestyle, and personal characteristics. Methods: Multivariate logistic regression modeling was used to analyze VPA data from the Utah Higher Education Health Behavior Survey, a descriptive cross-sectional survey conducted in 2003 (N = 4574), 2005 (N = 9673) and 2007 (N = 7938). Results: Factors consistently associated with meeting VPA recommendations included involvement in extracurricular sports, being single, and daily consumption of fruits or vegetables. In contrast, factors such as older age (> 23 years old), having a particularly low (<18.5 kg·m2) or high BMI (> 34.9 kg·m2), and being a current smoker were associated with not meeting the VPA recommendation. This corroborates paradoxical findings that binge alcohol consumption correlates with meeting VPA. Conclusions: Findings support the need for targeted interventions among college students to support the establishment of long-Term protective behavioral patterns against chronic disease risk throughout the life course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-445
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • College students
  • Life course
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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