My Health a Fitness Survey

After reading and previously posting about the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment, I became curious about the health of my peers at Cal Poly. Health and fitness seem to be topics that most college students are concerned about, mainly regarding their own personal benefits. I was interested in how most students viewed their own health and fitness levels and how they aim to improve them. Instead of asking some of the more technical questions that the NCHA asks, I stuck to the general questions about health and didn’t venture into health insurance, diseases, sexual behavior, and alcohol and tobacco use. Although important in the NCHA survey, these topics were not relevant in the results that I was trying to achieve.

I think that the questions in this survey were very interesting because they required a little thinking and a personal response. One was not allowed to simply answer “yes” or “no”, they had to analyze their own bodies and make an executive decision about their health. I believe that doing so would bring about a realization in some people to go out and become more active and maintain a healthier life style. Simply creating this survey and making the answer options made me want to go to the gym and eat healthier!

Some of the questions I included on my survey were:

-In general, how would you categorize your general health?

-How important is exercise to you?

-How many times a week do you exercise?

-How would you rate your diet?

-What are the main reasons you work out?

I also included questions regarding the primary reason students go to the gym and what machines and work outs they utilize while there for later use in this blog. 

Results:

After sampling 65 students on campus through Survey Monkey I was able to collect the data from my health and fitness survey. Theses were my results:

            -67.6% of students reported that they are in decent shape, 18.9% were in excellent shape, and 13.5 were in fair shape

            -The majority of students work out wither 3-5 times a week or 5-7 times a week (both at 32.4%)

            -64.9% of students reported that exercise is very important to them while it was moderately important for 24.3%

            -68.4% of college students rated their died as fairly balanced, 21% as healthy and balanced, and 10.5% as needs improvement

-Surprisingly 73.9% of students reported that they mainly focus on cardio workout at the gym, opposed to weightlifting, strength training and agility training

This was a very rewarding survey in that it surprised me on some levels and also made me proud of the community I live in. Cal Poly seems to be a very fit campus. It seems that most students are comfortable with their health or need to slightly improve it. The amount of students that attend the gym 5-7 times a week completely astounded me! Go CP! 

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An Analysis of the ACHA’s National College Health Assessment

While doing researching for this blog, I came across multiple studies that the American College Health Association has been implementing since 1998. These studies were collected and used to create the NCHA, National College Health Assessment. This survey was formed in order to assists higher education institutions in creating a healthy campus community. The NCHA includes around 300 questions assessing student health problems, health indicators, and perceptions.

In the Spring 2005 NCHA, 54,111 students on 71 campuses completed over 56,637 surveys. The sampling strategies included a mix of randomized classrooms, samplings, mailings, and wed based surveys. The NCHA questions are set up in five different categories: Demographic Characteristics; Health, Health Education and Safety; Weight, Nutrition and Exercise; Alcohol, Tobacco, and other Drugs; and Mental and Physical Health. The survey was 63.8% female and 36.2% male by random sampling, and the majority of students were between the ages of 18 and 29 years of age. Some of the results included…

-88.5% of students reported that they have some kind of health insurance

-Only 7% of students reported eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily

-43.6% of students reported that they exercise vigorously for 20 minutes or moderately for 30 minutes

-49.3% of students stated that they exercise to strengthen and tone muscles at least 2 days a week

-The mean estimated BMI for women was 23.3 kg/m and 24.6 kg/m for men (both values fall within the national average for a healthy weight range)

-60.2% of students reported never smoking cigarettes

I believe it is very important for these types of assessments to be presented to college communities in order to raise awareness of health detriments and successes that have been happening on campuses. This type of survey is critical to expand college heath professionals’ understand of the health needs of their students. It is also important for students to understand these results and work towards bettering their health mentally and physically.

After researching and analyzing this study, I have decided to do a small survey of my own with my peers around me. It is still in progress but I am looking toward asking students about how they see their own health… Do they see them selves as healthy, do they eat a balanced died, do they believe they are in good shape, etc. Be on the look out! 

It’s All About the Music

Who can deny that music has a way with pumping you up?  That perfect song starts playing on your iPod and, BOOM, you energized, active, and ready to go! No matter how tired and sore you may be, when the first beats of that song start playing you feel like you could run for a hundred more miles. Trust me, I know this feeling way too well. In fact, I have a playlist specifically for the gym in order to keep me motivated and moving forward. Just in case you haven’t solidifies your personal work out jamz, here are a few websites to help you out. In my opinion, they represent good collection of upbeat pump up songs. Have a happy workout! 

http://tipofyourtonguetopofmylungs.blogspot.com/2011/04/200-running-songs.html

http://skinnyms.com/top-motivating-workout-songs-to-get-your-body-moving/

Cardio, Cardio, Cardio!

Cardio workouts have become one of the trending topics in the work out world today. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, cardio, or cardiovascular exercise, is any activity that increases heart rate and respiration while using large muscle groups repetitively and rhythmically. One of the reasons cardio workouts have become so popular lately is because they do not necessarily require a gym membership. Many of the exercises can be done without specialized machines.

Cardio workouts are typically characterized into either high-impact cardio or low-impact cardio. High-impact activities carry a higher risk for injury but provide many cardiovascular and metabolic advantages due to the high amount of calories they burn. Some example activities include running, jogging, and jump roping. Low-impact cardio workouts are suitable for anybody but are extremely advantageous for overweight or elderly individuals looking to improve their health. This is because the exercises require little skill but still target major muscles groups and fat burning areas. Examples of low-intensity cardio workouts include fitness walking, swimming, biking, and stair climbing.

They key to a cardio workout is to integrate both low and high intensity activities in order to achieve optimal success. Performing these exercises two to three times each week will promote major health benefits. One can expect to achieve stronger bones, a healthy weight and blood pressure, and protection from depression, heart attacks, stroke and diabetes with just executing these simple workouts.

Below I have included a website that I find to be useful whenever I need a new cardio workout. They provide many options and step-by-step instructions to simple but effective cardio workouts!

http://www.health.com/health/cardio-workouts

The Introduction

Hello fellow bloggers! First off, please excuse me for not being the most technologically savvy college student on campus; I am pretty new to this social networking world and am still learning!  My name is Frances Dixon and I am currently a kinesiology major at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo. I have created this blog in order to piece together all of the information we have collected throughout our lifetime concerning our own personal heath. I hope to inspire students to get active and make important personal choices that will benefit them later in life.
As college students in the twenty first century, we are constantly bombarded with new information concerning fitness and health. It seems like every week there is new research surfacing that seems to disprove the previous information.
Should I run 5 miles around a track or do static cross-fit exercises?
Should I become vegetarian or vegan?
Should I be gluten free?
What kind of workout shoes will give me the best performance?
Should I take vitamin supplements or does my body already produce an adequate amount?
Should I cut out carbs completely or do they have any health benefit?
Should I participate in an extreme mega-cleanse?
Is Greek yogurt actually better than all the rest?
As growing adults, how are we to make important decisions that will benefit our health in later years if all the information keeps contradicting itself? Through this blog I hope to help guide fellow students through their health, fitness and nutrition problems and establish a center for collecting all types of media and information. On my blog I will include articles on health, fitness, and nutrition, interviews with students at the gym and professionals on campus, polls and graphs about student health, and summaries about my experiences and insight. I hope to gain a better understanding of fitness in the college lifestyle and also help others make healthy and life changing decisions. I want students to know that they are not alone if they feel confused and intimidated by all of the health information that is circulating. 🙂