The impact of transition from university on physically active students

Claire Carney, Nanette Mutrie, Sharon McNeish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of leaving university on physically active students, to assess barriers related to physical activity during this period and to gather commentary on recommendations on how to continue activity post-university. Students in the action (22%) and maintenance (78%) stages of the exercise behaviour change model were identified as they graduated from university in July 1996.

Results showed that 22% of the population relapsed from participating in regular physical activity after a six-month follow-up period. The results also indicated that the barriers assessed, i.e. time, effort, limiting health and obstacles, were not perceived as being particularly important to the respondents.

These results show that transition from university impacts on regular physical activity levels on physically active graduates. Given that inactivity is a recognised risk factor in disease and is now as prevalent as other risk factors, higher education has a responsibility to encourage physically active lifestyles and to help graduates plan how to continue physical activity beyond university.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Health Promotion and Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2000


  • physical activity
  • stage of exercise behaviour change
  • motivations and barriers
  • transferable skills
  • relapse prevention

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