The effects of a physical activity program on mood states in college students

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lisa D. Powell (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Diane Gill

Abstract: College students are at risk for adverse mental and physical health. Physical activity (PA) can reduce risks and promote positive mental health; however, less than half (49.9%) of college students meet the American College of Sports Medicine (2017) recommendations for PA. The purpose of this study was to implement and evaluate an evidence-based PA program (#ubwell) designed in collaboration with university counseling services to enhance mood states and promote continued PA in college students. The program was held for 5 weeks. Students (n = 21) completed pre and post measures of perceived health, PA participation, intrinsic motivation, and mood states, and a post program evaluation. Additionally, participants recorded Feeling Scale and Felt Arousal Scale ratings before, during (mid-way) and after each weekly PA session. Results showed intrinsic motivation significantly increased from pre to post (p = .02). Participants experienced increases in positive feelings and energy levels across all PA sessions. However, pre and post measures of perceived health, PA participation, and mood states did not differ. Confounding factors such as participant illness, campus mourning (i.e., deaths of two students the week before), and mid-term/final exams may have influenced results. Possibly, PA provided a coping strategy during those stressful times that maintained mood and PA participation levels. Additional research with larger samples and longer programs may provide greater insight into the benefits of PA programs for mental health and wellness.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Affect, College students, Mood states, Physical activity
College students $x Psychology
Physical education and training $x Psychological aspects
Exercise $x Psychological aspects
Mood (Psychology)

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