Minna R. Burkhardt, Amy M. Doyle, Sarah M. McDonnell, Maryann Elizabeth Smith, Anna E. White


Presentation: 1:15-2:30, Kennedy Union Ballroom



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Introduction: College students face a stressful challenge of navigating the transition from adolescence to adulthood with the added pressure of performing well in classes and taking care of themselves. There have been many studies conducted that examine the relationship between physical activity and stress levels, but few have investigated this relationship among a college population. A previous study indicated that objectively vigorous physical activity was associated with decreased stress assessed with the Perceived Stress Scale, but moderate physical activity was not. With the rise in mental health issues in this population it is important to identify ways to reduce stress responses. Many studies have identified an inverse relationship with physical activity and stress levels. The importance of this study is to investigate and bring light to how college students handle stress levels with physical activity. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate how physical activity is related to stress levels in college students. Specifically, looking at the mode and frequency of physical activity in relation to overall stress levels.Methods:We are collecting data from students at the University of Dayton to determine if students' anxiety levels are impacted by physical activity. This data will come from students of various backgrounds and will give us insight into how physical activity impacts students and their everyday lives. We will also be using secondary data to gain more information about the correlation between anxiety levels and physical activity in college students. Conclusion: While this study is still under investigation, our results will show the relationship between physical activity and stress levels in college students. As results are collected it will demonstrate the significance between physical activity and stress putting into consideration how often students exercise, what type of exercise they partake in, and if they have any barriers that prevent them from exercising.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project - HSS 428 M1

Primary Advisor

Daniel F. Yang

Primary Advisor's Department

Health and Sport Science


Stander Symposium, School of Education and Health Sciences

Understanding Physical Activity and Stress Levels in College Students