Authors: Jessie Bitler, Amanda J. Sandroni, Shelby Yeager, Helen Batisti, Diane M. DellaValle*
Nutrition, Athletic Training and Exercise Science Department (NATES), Marywood University, Scranton, PA, USA
Diane M. DellaValle, PhD, RDN, LDN
2300 Adams Ave
Scranton, PA 18509
Jessie M. Bitler, MS was a graduate student at the time this study was conducted, and this was her thesis research.
Amanda J. Sandroni is a graduate student and dietetic intern at Marywood University. Her research interests focus on food allergies and intuitive eating in college students.
Shelby W. Yeager MEd, ATC, LAT, FMSC, NASM-CPT, PES, CES is an Associate Clinical Professor of Exercise Science and Athletic Training at Marywood University. Her interests focus on functional movement screening and injury prevention in athletes.
Helen E. Battisti, PhD, RDN, CDN was an Assistant Professor of Nutrition at the time this study was conducted. Her research interests include the use of the horse in psychosocial therapy.
Diane M. DellaValle, PhD, RDN, LDN is an Associate Professor of Nutrition. Her research interests include improving nutrition status and performance of collegiate athletes.
Who Are the Undergraduate Equestrians in the Intercollegiate Horseshows Association, and What Are Their Lifestyle Habits?
As there is currently little research available on collegiate equestrians, the purpose of the current study was to describe the health and lifestyle habits of undergraduate members of the Intercollegiate Horseshows Association (IHSA). This cross-sectional study consisted of an online survey of demographic, riding, health, and academic characteristics. Participants (n=528, 20.3±1.4 years old, 96% female, 91.7% white; BMI 23.2±3.7 kg/m2) reported 11.7±4.5 years of riding experience. Most reported very little to no alcohol consumption, and not smoking. Eighty-three percent reported 1-3 servings/day of both fruits and vegetables, and 84.6% reported sleeping 6-8 h/night. GPA was negatively related to the number of naps reported (r=-0.19, p<0.001), and alcohol servings (r=-0.15, p=0.001). Work hours per week was negatively related to hours of sleep per night (r=-0.14, p=0.006), and positively related to alcohol servings (r=0.12, p=0.03). Greater physical activity (PA) time within sport was related to more experience (r=0.13, p=0.003), horse ownership (r=0.30, p<0.001), greater vigorous PA time outside of sport (r=0.25, p<0.001), and more fruit consumed per day (r=0.16, p<0.001). While our results did show that these equestrians engaged in healthy lifestyle habits, we found that taking more naps and drinking more alcohol were both negatively related to student GPA, and that working more hours was negatively related to hours of sleep per night and was positively related to drinking more alcohol. It is important to describe the characteristics of this group due to their uniqueness in order for College and University Services to develop health and nutrition programs appropriate to serve their unique needs.