Healthy Active Living: A Residence Community–Based Intervention to Increase Physical Activity and Healthy Eating During the Transition to First-Year University
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OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of a Healthy Active Living (HAL) community intervention on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), fruit and vegetable consumption (FVC), and psychosocial mediators of physical activity among students transitioning into university. METHODS: Sixty undergraduate students were assigned to reside in either the HAL community or no-treatment control residence and completed questionnaire measures at the beginning and end of the academic year. RESULTS: Students living in the HAL community reported significantly more MVPA (F[1, 58]=19.93, p<.001, ηp2=.26) and greater FVC (F[1, 56]=3.12, p=.08, ηp2=.05) compared with controls. Participants in the HAL condition also scored significantly higher in action planning (F[1, 58]=4.79, p<.05, ηp2=.08), partially mediating the effect of the intervention on MVPA. CONCLUSION: A peer-delivered healthy lifestyles intervention targeting first-year university students appears to be effective in preserving or enhancing health behaviors and cognitions during their transition into university life.