Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Biology

Research Sponsor

Dr. Ronald Otterstetter

First Reader

Dr. Victor Pinheiro

Second Reader

Dr. Matt Juravich

Abstract

Distance running is a very precise mechanism of many intricate movements and abilities of the body. The amount of miles that a distance runner must run puts a lot of very intense stresses on one’s body. These stresses often appear at the bone level and lead to many injuries such as stress reactions and stress fractures but also may play important roles in tissue damages such as strains and pulls. In this study, we used division one college distance runners and examined many intricacies between their level of fitness and overall composition. These include looking at imbalances, dominant traits, and body composition. Our main points of emphasis were injuries, bone mineral density, body fat percentage, and Max VO2. These were investigated by the use of Dexa scanning and the performing of a max VO2 test. Our findings concluded that significant differences were seen between the BMD of men and women collegiate runners (p-value=.0154). Body fat percentage causes a decrease in BMD as it increases and plays a significant role in the amount of injuries one experiences (both p-value’s<.001). Lastly, both body fat percentage and BMD play a significant factor in VO2 max (both p-value’s<.001).