Relationship between Estimations and Actual Physical Activity in College Students

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Wall, Margaret T.
Physical Activity , Misperceptions
Physical activity is one of the most significant health indicators. Physical activity provides numerous health benefits, yet it is rare to find people meeting the recommendations. College age individuals may not engage in the recommended amounts of physical activity because they lack knowledge of the recommendations and have inaccurate estimations of their own physical activity level. About 60% of adults who do not meet recommended guidelines overestimate their level of physical activity (Watkinson, 2010). Overestimation occurs when people incorrectly believe they are physically active when actual levels of activity indicate otherwise (Watkinson, 2010). Overestimation includes a misperception that one's behavior is healthy when it is actually not. This may occur due to a lack of knowledge about physical activity recommendations. The purpose of this study was to examine how college aged-students estimate their physical activity and correlate it to the actual amount of physical activity they are completing. The participants of this study were a non-probability sample of racially/ ethnically diverse 3,707 undergraduate SUNY Potsdam students between the ages of 18-25+. The instrument used is a 22-item survey measuring estimation of physical activity, knowledge of physical activity recommendations, intentions for change, actual amounts of PA. All data was analyzed by Kruskal Wallis.