Identifying Changes in Physical Activity Behaviours That Lead to Weight Gain in First Year University Students
Thomas, Aysha Martinah
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The transition to university is a critical time period for weight gain, possibly explained by a decrease in physical activity. The aim of this study was to identify changes in physical activity as students’ transition from high school to university and to assess if they relate to body weight and composition. Three hundred one (71 males, 230 females) first year Brock University students participated. Anthropometric and body composition data were collected in September and April. Students also filled out questionnaires assessing their physical activity behaviours. Significant increases in weight, BMI, and body composition were observed across the sample, accompanied by reductions in physical activity output and increases in factors preventing physical activity participation. However, the reductions in physical activity were not correlated with the changes in body composition. Therefore, in our sample, changes in physical activity behaviours are not the main cause of weight gain in first year university students.