Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fitness a Priority for Kinesiology Majors

A study by Buckworth & Nigg (2004) found that college students spend an average of 30 hours a week engaged in sedentary behaviors.  Although most colleges have fitness facilities and offer a multitude of different activities for students to participate in, many students may have a difficult time juggling school, fitness and social life. In order to make fitness a priority, Kinesiology majors at Tarleton State University are required to rank in the 40th percentile or higher in each fitness category according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines. Achieving the health-related fitness standards according to the appropriate gender and age category is required as a condition of graduation.  Students have to pass mandatory health-related fitness testing which include cardiorespiratory endurance (1.5 mile run), muscular strength (bench press and leg press), muscular endurance (sits-ups) and flexibility (sit & reach).  The better the students perform on these tests, the higher grade they receive in the class.

Health-related fitness data has been collected from the 2012 Summer and Spring semesters at Tarleton’s Clinical Exercise Research Facility on these tests, as well as body mass index, blood pressure and body fat percentage.  The data reveals that females ranked higher than males on the health related fitness testing, with the exception of body fat percentage and upper body strength.  Pribis et al. found similar numbers in body mass index, body fat, and blood pressure in college age students who were required to complete a fitness evaluation. They also stated that females were likely to rank higher on fitness testing than males.  It is unknown if the differences in percentile ranking between genders is due to lack of exercise training or lack of central motivation. Tarleton State University is the only school in the Lone Star Conference that requires health-related fitness testing as a condition of graduation for Kinesiology students. Kinesiology majors need to be able to “practice what they preach,” so it is essential that these tests are incorporated in the curriculum of all kinesiology majors.


Buckworth J, Nigg C. Physical activity, exercise, and sedentary behavior in college students. J. Am College Health; 2004;53:28-34.
Pribis P, Burtnack CA, McKenzie SO, Thayer J. Trends in body fat, body mass index and physical fitness among male and female college students. Nutr. 2010;2:1075-1085


  1. I love that Tarleton requires fitness testing for Kinesiology majors. Personally I feel that it is important for Kinesiology majors to be advocates for health and fitness and this is just one way to hold us accountable. We need to lead by example by being role models and trend setters. I find that as soon as people find out I’m majoring in Kinesiology I get asked numerous questions on a regular basis regarding health and fitness and even my coworkers look to me for encouragement or advice. I sometimes feel bad when I have been slacking in my healthy lifestyle but I quickly get reminded by those around me when they look to me to be an example. I loved reading your blog and didn’t realize that Tarleton was the only one that tests in the Lone Star Conference. This makes me proud to be a TEXAN!

  2. Nice to know that TSU is leading the way. That is true STRENGTH WITHIN 'practicing what we preach'!!!