Sport and Physical Activity Level Impacts Health-Related Quality of Life Among Collegiate Students

Traci R. Snedden, John Scerpella, Stephanie A. Kliethermes, Rocío S. Norman, Liga Blyholder, Jen Sanfilippo, Timothy A. McGuine, Bryan Heiderscheit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To examine and compare the role of self-assessed sport and physical activity involvement on the health-related quality of life among undergraduate student-athletes and general undergraduate college students. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Data set was examined for differences in physical and mental health by self-assessed sport and physical activity level. Setting: Large Midwestern University in the fall of 2016. Participants: A combined data set representing undergraduate Division I student athletes (n = 842) and general undergraduate students (n = 1322). Measures: Veterans RAND 12 Item Health Survey (VR-12), as measure of health-related quality of life, comprised of physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS). Self-assessed sport and physical activity level categorized as Division I athlete, club athlete, intramural player, student who works out regularly, or student who is physically inactive. Analysis: Standard univariable statistics described the study population. Two-sample t tests and χ2 tests were conducted, as appropriate, to compare Division I student-athletes to the general undergraduate group. Multivariable linear regression models were then built to assess associations between physical activity level and year in school with VR-12 outcomes, after adjusting for sex. All pairwise interactions were considered for inclusion in the final models. Adjusted least-square means were calculated for all variables in the model; pairwise comparisons were adjusted for multiple comparisons via Tukey-Kramer adjustment criteria. A linear test for trend was also conducted for the association between VR-12 MCS and increasing physical activity. Results: Significant differences in MCS were noted between levels of sport and physical activity; however, such differences were not detected in PCS. After controlling for sex, a positive relationship between increased sport and physical activity level and greater MCS was found. Conclusions: This study represents the first prospective assessment of health-related quality of life among undergraduate athletes and general college students. Higher levels of sport and physical activity were associated with more positive mental health in these populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-682
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Keywords

  • VR-12
  • college students
  • mental health
  • physical activity
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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  • Cite this

    Snedden, T. R., Scerpella, J., Kliethermes, S. A., Norman, R. S., Blyholder, L., Sanfilippo, J., McGuine, T. A., & Heiderscheit, B. (2019). Sport and Physical Activity Level Impacts Health-Related Quality of Life Among Collegiate Students. American Journal of Health Promotion, 33(5), 675-682. https://doi.org/10.1177/0890117118817715