College Students Do Not Exercise Enough

When you spend the majority of your time sitting in class or laying on the couch studying, it’s easy to start to lead a sedentary life. While being on the soccer team might have kept you active in high school, in college you may find that you have to make more of an effort to get your heart rate up. If you want to stay healthy in college, it is important that you get plenty of exercise. Unfortunately, when it comes to exercise, most college students do not get enough.

In “Physical Activity and Public Health: Updated Recommendations for Adults,” the American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association recommended that adults do moderate-intensity cardio or aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes on five or more days a week, or vigorous-intensity cardio or aerobic for at least 20 minutes on 3 or more days a week. According to these recommendations, the majority of college students are not getting the exercise they need to stay healthy. In the fall 2009 National College Health Assessment, the American College Health Association reported that 43.6 percent of students met the recommendations for moderate or vigorous exercise, or a combination of both. More male students, 50.4 percent, than females, 39.9 percent, met these recommendations.

When it came to exercising at a moderate-level intensity in the past seven days, 18.2 percent of students reported they exercised three to seven days, 55.1 percent one to four days, and 26.7 percent did not exercise at all. Vigorous-level intensity exercises within the past seven days were completed three to seven days of the week by 26.4 percent of students, one to two days by 30.2 percent, and 43.5 percent of students reported that they did not exercise at all.

Although students do not get as much exercise as they should, the majority do not have a problem when it comes to weight. The assessment found that according to Body Mass Index, 61.8 percent of students were at a healthy weight with a BMI in-between 18.5 to 24.9. Of those at a healthy weight, 58.5 percent were male and 63.8 were female. A smaller percentage of students, 21.2 percent, were considered overweight with a BMI in-between 25 to 29.9, and of these students, 26.1 percent were male and 18.4 percent were female. But even though you may not have a weight problem, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t break a sweat. Exercising regularly will not only improve your health, but it will also help you in school by improving your concentration, stress, and energy levels.