On-campus physical activity programming for post-secondary student mental health: Considerations for research and practice
Date & Time
Thursday, August 12, 2021, 1:45 PM - 2:30 PM

Community-based physical activity programs can contribute to reductions in symptoms associated with poor mental health, improved sense of belonging and community, and improved social connections and support. Yet, limited research has sought to understand on-campus physical activity programs to support the mental health and well-being of post-secondary students. To address this gap, three independent research studies have been conducted including: (1) A mixed-methods evaluation of the acceptability and effectiveness of a one-on-one and individualized physical activity program for student mental health; (2) A qualitative study exploring students’ and clinicians’ perspectives and beliefs towards physical activity for mental health; and (3) A mixed-methods approach to understanding mental health care providers’ practices and perspectives towards using physical activity as a depression treatment approach. A comprehensive synthesis of the findings will be presented. Implications for practical implementation strategies and program evaluation techniques to leverage on-campus physical activity programs for student mental health will be discussed.

Learning Objective 1:
To provide knowledge and awareness of current research supporting on-campus physical activity programming as an effective and acceptable mental health management strategy.
Learning Objective 2:
To provide practical strategies and considerations for implementing and evaluating on-campus physical activity programs to support student mental health and well-being.
Learning Objective 3:
To discuss lessons learned from program implementation and evaluation and future directions for research and practice.
Evaluation, Research, Assessment
Session Type
Virtual Session Link