Authors: Dr. Alexia Franzidis and Dr. Lindsey H. Schroeder
Lindsey H. Schroeder Ed.D., LAT, ATC, CES
601 S. College Rd.
Wilmington NC, 28403-5956
Dr. Franzidis is an associate professor and program coordinator at the University of North Carolina Wilmington for the Recreation, Sport Leadership, and Tourism Management Program.
Dr. Schroeder is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in the Athletic Training Program. She is a licensed and certified athletic trainer and an alumnus of the United States Sports Academy.
The impact of gender on perception of risk during exercise
An individual’s decision to engage in physical activity is driven by perceived benefits and risks. Activities that are considered risky may have limited involvement or participation. As such, understanding risk perceptions of specific physical activities is important, specifically for college students, whose engagement in physical activity decreases during their transition from high school to college. The purpose of this study was to identify college students’ preferred exercise areas within the recreation center, their exercise frequency, and their perceptions of risk and injury. The participants in the study comprised 232 college students enrolled at a mid-sized public university located in southeastern North Carolina. Students completed a survey with three sections, focusing on demographics, workout behavior, and perceived exercise risks, respectively. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 26. Most of the participants were 18 years old (32.8%) and identified as female (56.9%). Significant gender differences were found. Gender influenced the number of hours students spent working out per week, the area of the recreation center utilized, and the exercise activities conducted, the perceptions of how injuries occur, and the number of supervisors present during their workout. The findings indicate a need for further educational programming in recreation centers regarding the proper use of all fitness equipment. Such education could increase usage in all areas, as well as decrease the perceived risks of using specific pieces of equipment, especially amongst women.(more…)