According to the DHHS, one third of adults in the United States do not participate in enough physical activity (Coronado, Sos, Talbot, Do & Taylor, 2010). "Physical inactivity is a serious health problem among university students," (Irwin, 2007, p.40). This poses a great danger to students who have serious health issues. "Thirty-seven percent of the college student population is overweight, with 11 % being obese," (Berg, An, Ahluwalia, 2013, p. 389). Even though the benefits of participating in physical activity are proven to increase psychological and physiological health, many college students do not meet the minimal recommendations for physical activity (Kilpatrick, Herbert & Bartholomew, 2005). Obesity has increased among college students due to lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle, such as long periods of sitting and inactivity (Bragg, Carolyn, Kaye & Desmond, 2009). "Specifically, weight gain in the first few years of college is becoming an important concern affecting the likelihood that more young adults are, or will become obese," (Gruber, 2008, p.557). On average, weight gain is greater among college students compared to the general population (English, 2009). However, students can improve their health by including exercise 5 days each week for 30 min (English, 2009). Students have an array of physical activity options available to them through campus recreational facilities; for example, recreational sports, games, weight lifting, swimming, or outdoor activities. These activities range from moderate to vigorous intensity levels (Coronado, Sos, Talbot, Do & Taylor, 2010). While it may appear simplistic to engage in these activities, there are challenges and barriers that can impede students from reaping the benefits of physical activity. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of the benefits and challenges of physical activity for college students.
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Henshaw, B., & Archibald, J. G. (2013). The Benefits and Barriers of Physical Activity among College Students. Georgia Journal of College Student Affairs, 29(1). https://doi.org/10.20429/gcpa.2013.290102