Trends in Physical Activity Interest in the College and University Setting

Bridget Melton, Georgia Southern University
Andrew Hansen, Georgia Southern University
Jonathon Gross


High levels of interest in physical activity courses correlate positively with student participation. Awareness of students' physical activity interests allows college and university program coordinators to match student interests with appropriate course offerings. Purpose: The purpose of this research is to track students' physical activity interest and satisfaction of a physical activity program. Methods: Students attending physical activity courses in a midsize southeastern university were given a physical activity questionnaire. Results: Responses were obtained from 2562 of 5625 students registered in physical activity courses, (45.5% response rate). Results showed that the top ten physical activity courses of interest for 2008 were: bowling, flag football, basketball, golf, body conditioning, yoga, gymnastics, scuba, aerobics and self defense. In the past 14 years, body conditioning and scuba were ranked in the top ten courses of interest; self defense and aerobics appeared in all but the 2007 data sets collected. Conclusion: It is recommended that program coordinators have ongoing evaluations of their physical activity program in order to meet student interest. It is also recommended that researchers consider their geographical areas as student physical activity interests might differ based on location.