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Jenna Bautch '16

Correlations between Habitual Exercise Patterns and Fasted Lipid Profile and Resting Blood Pressure Measurements in College Students

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends college students participate in aerobic and anaerobic exercise to improve fitness and reduce risk of chronic disease.  Exercise may impact risk factors for cardiovascular disease. 

Purpose: To examine if college students' exercise habits relate to their fasting blood lipids and resting blood pressure measurements.

Methods: Institutional Review Board approval was obtained and informed consents were signed before research was conducted.  One hundred and thirty-eight students from a private college were asked to complete an exercise questionnaire regarding the average frequency and duration of aerobic and anaerobic exercise performed over a one-week span.  Students' fasting HDLs, LDLs, TGs and resting blood pressure values were matched to completed exercise questionnaires.  Data was analyzed using SPSS to determine correlations between exercise habits and blood lipids or blood pressure measurements and to establish if there were differences between sexes for lipids and blood pressure measurements.

Results: The amount of physical exercise was not correlated to fasting blood lipids or blood pressure measurements. Seventy-one percent of students meet the ACSM exercise recommendations for 30 minutes of moderate-intense physical activity 5 days/week. Average fasting HDLs (55±14 mg/dL), LDLs (81±25 mg/dL), TGs (95±48 mg/dL), and resting blood pressure (107/70 mmHG) measurements were in normal ranges set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Twenty-five percent of students exceed the CDC recommendation for TGs, 5% exceed for level of LDL, and 30% are under for HDL measurements.  Males had significantly lower HDLs (~47±12 mg/dL) compared to women (~58±14) (p=0.01).  Males had significantly higher resting diastolic blood pressure readings (~71 mmHG) compared to women (~69 mmHg) (p=0.01).

Conclusion: College students from the study were typically active which may have led to the lack of correlation between physical activity and blood lipids. Exercise may not significantly affect blood lipids or blood pressure values when blood lipids or blood pressure measurements are within normal limits. While 29% of students do not meet the ACSM recommendations, 15% of those students also do not meet the CDC recommendations and would benefit from lipid management education.

Jenna Bautch

Jenna Bautch presenting at the Nutrition Department Poster Competition

Jenna Bautch
Jenna Bautch
Jenna Bautch
To view Poster, click on link below:

Correlations between Habitual Exercise Patterns and Fasted Lipid Profile and Resting Blood Pressure Measurements in College Students

Research Advisor: Jayne Byrne, MS, RDN, LD