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ACSM In The News

ACSM is fortunate to be the go-to source on sports medicine and exercise science for several national and international media outlets. You can find some of our most recent coverage below, or you can view archived articles.  

Stress and Culture Affect Exercise Motivation

by User Not Found | Aug 01, 2011
Various factors impact college students’ physical activity levels, reasoning

SEATTLE – Stress levels and cultural considerations affect how much and for what reasons college students exercise, according to research presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s 56th Annual Meeting in Seattle.

One study, conducted by Rafer Lutz, Ph.D., found that college-aged women who do not exercise regularly are even less likely to be physically active when under stress. But those with consistent exercise levels accumulate more physical activity when experiencing similar emotions.

“I think our study suggests, more than anything, varying perceptions of exercise,” Lutz said. “Someone who isn’t regularly active may view exercise as ‘one more burden’ when stressed, whereas those who make it a part of daily life may view it as a stress reliever and an escape from pressure.”

A second study examined exercise differences between more than 400 students American and Chinese college students. Researchers found that Americans typically exercise for weight control and physical appearance, while the Chinese exercise more for health and enjoyment reasons.

“These results reinforce the complexity of exercise behavior change, particularly among diverse and multicultural groups,” said lead study author Zi Yan, M.S. “Although we didn’t study the origins of these exercise motivations, it may be a reflection of cultural values and what young people are taught to prioritize about themselves.”

ACSM guidelines support the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which recommend that adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, which can be achieved in 30-minute segments five days a week.


The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 35,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

The conclusions outlined in this news release are those of the researchers only, and should not be construed as an official statement of the American College of Sports Medicine.

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