Exercise and cardiometabolic risk factors in graduate students: A longitudinal, observational study

Susan B. Racette, Cindi L. Inman, B. Ruth Clark, Nathaniel K. Royer, Karen Steger-May, Susan S. Deusinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate cardiometabolic risk of students longitudinally and compare them with age-matched national samples. Participants: Participants are 134 graduate students enrolled between August 2005 and May 2010. Methods: Students were assessed at the beginning and end of their 3-year curriculum. Comparative samples included 966 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey participants and 5,154 National College Health Assessment respondents. Results: Most students had desirable weight, blood glucose, lipids, and fitness at both time points. However, 26.9% had elevated blood pressure, 29.9% performed aerobic exercise < 3 days/week, and 80.6% consumed < 5 fruits/vegetables daily. Relative to young adults nationwide, these students exhibited more favorable exercise patterns, dietary patterns, and cardiometabolic indices. Over time, increases in adiposity and decreases in exercise frequency correlated with adverse changes in lipid concentrations and fitness. Conclusions: Small changes in lifestyle behaviors and adiposity within a healthy cohort of young adults significantly influenced cardiometabolic indices during their graduate career.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2014


  • Cardiometabolic
  • Exercise
  • Health behaviors
  • Physical activity


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