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University wellness class impact on the cardiorespiratory fitness of overweight/obese students.
Overweight/obese adults have significantly higher rates of hypertension and CVD than individuals with desirable BMIs (Must et. al., 1999). Regular MVPA significantly improves cardiorespiratory fitness in adults and the USDHHS (2008) recommended American adults 18-65 engage in 150 minutes of MVPA per week to control weight, improve health and reduce mortality rates. Physical activity rates drop significantly in adolescence and continue into adulthood (Haskell et. al., 2007). University of the Incarnate Word requires undergraduate students take a 2 hour credit 15 week wellness class to improve health and cardiorespiratory fitness levels of students as a graduation requirement. The wellness curriculum requires students perform 1 hour of structured aerobic exercise per week in class and 30 minutes outside of class to fulfill class requirements. This study wanted to determine if the curriculum produced significant improvements in 1 ½ mile run times and cardiorespiratory fitness levels of overweight/obese students at the end of the semester.