A fitness screening model for increasing fitness assessment and research experiences in undergraduate exercise science students

Gregory A. Brown, Frank Lynott, Kate A. Heelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


When students analyze and present original data they have collected, and hence have a cultivated sense of curiosity about the data, student learning is enhanced. It is often difficult to provide students an opportunity to practice their skills, use their knowledge, and gain research experiences during a typical course laboratory. This article describes a model of an out-of-class-room experience during which undergraduate exercise science students provide a free health and fitness screening to the campus community. Although some evidence of the effectiveness of this experience is presented, this is not a detailed evaluation of either the service or learning benefits of the fitness screening. Working in small learning groups in the classroom, students develop hypotheses about the health and fitness of the population to be screened. Then, as part of the health and fitness screening, participants are evaluated for muscular strength, aerobic fitness, body composition, blood pressure, physical activity, and blood cholesterol levels. Students then analyze the data collected during the screening, accept or reject their hypotheses based on statistical analyses of the data, and make in-class presentations of their findings. This learning experience has been used successfully to illustrate the levels of obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and lack of physical fitness in the campus community as well as provide an opportunity for students to use statistical procedures to analyze data. It has also provided students with an opportunity to practice fitness assessment and interpersonal skills that will enhance their future careers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-218
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Advances in Physiology Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Cholesterol
  • Health
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Physical fitness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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