Date of Award

5-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Exercise Science

Major Professor

Dixie L. Thompson

Committee Members

Eugene C. Fitzhugh, Leslee A. Fisher

Abstract

PURPOSE: To provide 1) a description of the levels of physical activity and social support for exercise for fraternity and sorority members; 2) a comparison of gender differences in physical activity levels among fraternity and sorority members; and 3) to determine a relationship between levels social support for exercise and physical activity in fraternity and sorority members. METHODS: Three hundred thirty-seven members of fraternities and sororities completed an online survey (74.8% female). The online survey included the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), the Social Support for Exercise Survey, and demographic questions. RESULTS: According to the IPAQ, the majority of fraternity and sorority members (90%) were engaged in moderate or high volumes of activity. However, the majority of members (62.3%) were not vigorously active 3 days per week for at least 20 minutes per session. Males were significantly more likely to report being active than females (p < 0.001). There were moderate correlations between social support for exercise from friends and the combination of moderate and vigorous activity (0.42); moderate activity (0.41); and vigorous activity (0.44). Social support for exercise from friends and gender predicted approximately 20% of the variance in moderate and vigorous physical activity. DISCUSSION: Approximately 40% of fraternity and sorority members reported engaging in vigorous activity. Fraternity members were more likely to report participation in vigorous activity than sorority members. Social support for exercise from friends was higher in students with structured exercise including moderate and vigorous activity. All significant correlations between social support for exercise and physical activity variables were positive. The strongest predictors of vigorous exercise were social support from friends and gender.

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