Date of Last Revision

2023-05-02 18:57:30


Exercise Science - PrePhysical Therapy

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2016



Physical inactivity and stress are prevalent issues which physiologically and emotionally affect college students. Those factors which inhibit and promote physical activity, as well as the stressors of the social and physical environment, require better understanding. One method to accomplish this is through a visual image of the student’s perception, or PhotoVoice method, which has not been previously utilized to investigate these topics. PURPOSE: To identify thematic barriers and facilitators to physical activity on campus and to identify thematic stressors of the physical and social environment on campus. METHODS: Photographs were taken by 114 subjects enrolled in the Health Promotion and Behavior Change course during the spring semesters of 2013 and 2014. The emphasis in 2013 was physical activity; while 2014 identified stressors. Group- selected photos were analyzed for underlying themes which were ranked based on frequency. RESULTS: Physical activity top barriers: transportation, safety, and infrastructure. Physical activity top facilitators: outdoor and indoor facilities, and social support. Top positive stressors: exercise, daily stress relievers, and social support. Top negative stressors: responsibilities, infrastructure, and safety. CONCLUSION: The findings of the current study provide suggestions to implement future changes that may promote a healthier campus.

Keywords: college student, physical activity, barriers, facilitators, stressors, environment

Research Sponsor

Dr. Judith Juvancic-Heltzel

First Reader

Melissa Smith

Second Reader

Rachele Kappler

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