Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Exercise and Nutrition


Applied Health Sciences


School of Nursing and Health Professions



Introduction: Most college students do not meet the recommended amount of physical activity per week. However, in the health sciences there is an expectation that students should serve as role models for physical activity and fitness. With the growing decline in fitness among young adults, it is likely that future healthcare professionals will be less fit and more likely to sustain job-related injuries.

Methods: Exercise science students (n = 275) completed fitness testing during an introductory course (18.64 ± 1.01 years; female n = 175). Tests included the Cooper 12-min run, wall sit-and-reach, 1-min sit-up, and YMCA bench press tests. Two common “fit for hire” lifts, the floor-to-waist and the overhead lifts, were also included. To meet standards, students needed to meet the 50th percentile range based on normative data for age and sex. Student data were compared to the identified norms using one-sample t-tests with an alpha of p < 0.05 a priori.

Results: Only 9 of 275 (3%) students met all standards. The majority of male and female participants did not meet standards for the YMCA Bench Press test. The majority of males did not achieve standards for the 1-min sit-up test.

Conclusions: All students met standards for ³ 1 test; however, only 3% met all standards. Therefore, academic majors in the health sciences should emphasize that their students meet recommendations for physical activity and fitness standards.



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