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Physical Activity Patterns And Bodyweight Change In Former Collegiate Athletes: Board #49 June 1 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Friery, Kelly B.; Bishop, Phillip; Fisher, Gordon

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2007 - Volume 39 - Issue 5 - p S380–S381
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000274495.51079.c1
E-23 Free Communication/Poster - Obesity and Body Weight: JUNE 1,2007 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM ROOM: Hall E

1 University of Louisiana at Monroe, Monroe, LA.

2University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

3Auburn University, Auburn, AL. Email:

(Sponsor: Lisa Colvin, Ph.D., FACSM)

Collegiate athletes undergo high intensity training regimens that may result in chronic injuries and affect their attitude and ability regarding physical activity.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of prior participation in collegiate athletics on physical activity patterns and weight gain.

METHODS: Former Division I college athletes, and a demographically-similar group of alumni (controls), were surveyed via e-mail (n=12,000). The survey included questions about current health and activity status.

RESULTS: Former athletes returned 375 surveys, and controls returned 2980 (28% return rate). Male athletes reported a significantly greater (p<0.05) increase in body weight (8.5 kg) vs. controls (6.3 kg). Athletes reported doing fewer (p<0.05) hours per week of anaerobic/mixed activity (2.1 hrs) than controls (3.0 hrs). The athletes reported intensity of anaerobic exercise was less than controls (p<0.05), with 19% of controls and 12% of athletes reporting high intensity anaerobic/mixed exercise. There were no significant differences found between athletes and alumni with regards to aerobic exercise intensity, though athletes reported more hours per week (3.9 hrs) than controls (1.4 hrs).

CONCLUSION: The data suggest that prior collegiate athletics participation seems to have long term consequences in terms of body weight change (males) and type of activity. The higher incidence of major injuries, chronic injuries, and physical activity limitations in athletes (reported elsewhere) may explain these differences in part. These data will help to determine the potential long-term risks associated with participation in competitive collegiate athletics.

© 2007 American College of Sports Medicine