The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in Physical Activity (PA) levels for course modality (on-campus vs. online).
A total of 238 participants enrolled at a regional university in Oregon with a significant online presence (58% of student head count).PA levels of on-campus and online students were assessed during April 2014 via an online electronic questionnaire. PA queries were based on the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) questions regarding PA.
76 on-campus and 162 online students completed the questionnaire. 92.1% (n = 70) of on-campus students reported meeting current PA recommendations compared to 75.3% (n = 122) of online students (p = 0.004). On-campus students reported significantly more time spent in vigorous PA, walking, and MET•min/wk than online students (232.5 vs. 60.0 min/wk, p = 0.004; 360 vs. 127.5 min/wk, p = 0.008; 4,014 vs. 1,935 MET•min/wk, p = 0.000, respectively).
Results indicate a need for physical activity interventions tailored to online university students.