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Colleges & Universities: The Core of the Next Fitness Boom

Colleges & Universities: The Core of the Next Fitness Boom

Results in Higher GPA's, Less Stess & More Confident

SILVER SPRING, MD – November 25, 2014 – If you build it, they will come.  According to a recent Wall Street Journal story by Rachel Bachman, many colleges and universities in the U.S. are making major investments in on-campus fitness and exercise facilities, and the students are showing up in record numbers to attend group Wall Streetexercise classes, to work out on fitness machines, and to play intramural sports.  And, there’s one big benefit to this fitness boom:  students are excelling in the classroom.

In that Wall Street Journal story, it pointed out these fitness trends at major U.S. colleges such as UCLA, Purdue University, University of Wisconsin, Ohio State University, North Carolina State University and the University of Florida.

At Purdue, a recent study indicated that students who attended yoga or kick-boxing classes at the newly built recreation center had higher GPAs after one semester than students who did not exercise at all at the new on-campus fitness facility.

The ROI on these fitness facilities is more than just students earning higher grades.  Students who are active have lower levels of stress and are more confident in social settings, reports Christopher Slaten, an assistant professor in Purdue’s college of education.

“They (today’s college students) understand the critical importance of physical activity,” said Don Stenta, Ohio State’s director of student life recreational sports, in the Wall Street Journal story.

Question:  What percentage of college students are using ‘on-campus’ recreation centers and facilities?  Answer:  Roughly 75%, according to NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation, the group formerly called the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association.

“It’s clear that today’s college students are keenly aware of the power and importance of physical activity in their daily lives,” says Jim Baugh, founder of PHIT America, which is leading the ‘Movement For a Fit and Healthy America.’  “Kudos to America’s college students for leading the charge to reverse America’s ‘Inactivity Pandemic.’  We need all age groups – younger and older – to follow the lead set by America’s coeds.”

Historically, the main athletic outlets for college students were intramural sports, but that’s no longer the case, according to Heather Sanderson, North Carolina State’s associate director for university recreation.  At Purdue, students are climbing an indoor rock wall; at N.C. States, students are playing Battleship with canoes in the indoor pools; at Ohio State, cardio kickboxing and indoor cycling classes are drawing a large number of participants; and at the University of Wisconsin, students are scuba diving.  And, females are outnumbering the males at many on-campus fitness center classes.

And in today’s era of technology, students at UCLA have access to a special app (GymFlow) that allows them to see how busy the recreation center is in certain areas before they leave their dorm room or apartment.  This will allow them to possibly avoid long lines or delays at the gym.


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