An Evaluation of a Health Intervention for First Semester Freshmen
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Studies have shown that exercise habits formed in college are maintained through post-graduation life. The purpose of this study was to present and evaluate a small group health intervention for use in a college setting. Twenty, first semester freshmen were recruited from general education courses to complete this study. Students were then randomly assigned to a control or experimental group with ten in each group. Both groups were given a battery of tests including; Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire, Rodgers and Sullivan Self-Efficacy Survey, ten repetition max bench press, and ten repetition max leg press. A t-test was used to analyze data from the control and experimental groups and found no difference in pre-intervention scores at a 95% confidence level. The experimental group participated in a resistance training fitness class that met once a week for four weeks in small groups of three to four. After the four weeks, the experimental group was given a written program developed from exercises learned during the class to follow for an additional four weeks. At the end of the second four weeks both the experimental and control groups were asked to perform the same post tests. Using paired t-test a significant change was found for each measure in the experimental group, while no significant change was found in the control group at a 95% confidence level. This intervention was proven to be effective in self-efficacy, physical activity, and muscular strength. Further research should be done to compare this intervention with other similar interventions. More research is needed to investigate long term effects of these interventions in subsequent years during and even after college.
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