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Sedentary behavior and physical activity of young adult university students. Res Nurs Health 2018 Feb;41(1):30-38



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85040819430   56 Citations


Movement and non-movement behaviors include sleep, sedentary behavior (SB) and physical activity (PA). While young adults are generally perceived as healthy, the level and relationship of SB and PA in college-age students has not been greatly explored. The purpose of this study was to objectively measure the levels of SB and PA in 18-20 year-old university students, record their self-reported extracurricular activities, and explore the relationship of all these with body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC). Male (n = 48) and female (n = 46) students participated in this cross-sectional study. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to examine time spent in SB, moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), number of self-reported sedentary extracurricular activities, and their relation to the dependent variables of BMI and WC. In correlation analyses, SB (p < .001) and MVPA (p = .017) both were negatively associated with BMI, and "other" race or ethnicity (African American, Hispanic, mixed; p = .013) and number of self-reported sedentary extracurricular activities (p = .006) were positively associated with BMI. In the WC regression model, SB (p = .018) was negatively associated and number of self-reported sedentary extracurricular activities (p = .006) was positively associated with WC. University students may be both highly active and highly sedentary. Future researchers should consider targeting interventions to reduce SB in addition to improving PA.

Author List

Peterson NE, Sirard JR, Kulbok PA, DeBoer MD, Erickson JM


Jeanne M. Erickson PhD, RN Associate Professor in the College of Nursing department at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Activities of Daily Living
Attitude to Health
Cross-Sectional Studies
Self Report
Young Adult