A comparative study of the relationship between physical activity and Body Mass Index levels of first year and third year females at Cardiff Metropolitan University
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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It is prevalent within literature that physical activity can have a direct influence on body mass index BMI levels and that those individuals who participate in low levels of physical activity, or spend more time sedentary, tend to have a greater BMI. The purpose of the present study was to compare the relationship between physical activity and BMI levels of first year and third year females at Cardiff Metropolitan University. The height and weight of 34 female participants aged between 18-22 years, from first year (n=17) and third year (n=17), was measured in order to establish BMI. The participants also completed a self-reported IPAQ, answering questions on their weekly levels of participation in walking, moderate, vigorous and total physical activity (MET-minutes/week) and time spent sitting (mins). It was found that third year females had on average a lower BMI of 23 kg/m2 (± 3.67) than the first years whom had an average BMI of 24 kg/m2 (± 2.16). Spearman’s Correlation revealed that there were positive correlations between Time Spent Sitting (mins) and Walking (MET-minutes/week) with r=0.360 and p<0.05, Moderate (METminutes/ week) and Total Physical Activity (MET-minutes/week) with r=0.362 and p=<0.05 and Total Physical Activity (MET-minutes/week) and Vigorous (METminutes/ week) with r=0.864 and p=<0.05. It was also found that the overweight and obese BMI group reported higher amounts of time spent sitting (mins) and lower amounts of total physical activity (MET-minutes/week) than the underweight and normal weight BMI group. This study accepts the evidence that lower levels of physical activity and increased time spent sedentary lead to an increase in BMI. The findings of this study suggest that increased physical activity, particularly vigorous physical activity, can lead to a lower BMI. Interventions are necessary, particularly within the first year of university to encourage females to adopt healthier lifestyle behaviours so that reductions in physical activity and increases in BMI are not seen.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
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