The effects of academic stress on force output


Courtney Jensen: 0000-0001-9774-0694

Document Type



Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences Department

Conference Title

30th Annual National Council on Undergraduate Research Conference


Asheville, NC

Conference Dates

April 7-9, 2016

Date of Presentation



According to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), 80 percent of college students say they experience frequent stress, sometimes on a daily basis. In addition, 34 percent have experienced depression in the recent past. It is well known that stress causes depression, but we should also care about the consequences of stress on those who are physically active in college. Student-athletes are required to attend classes and study while also following a very strict, sport-specific training schedule. The accumulation of stress due to maintaining both high academic and performance levels may possibly affect student-athletes’ athletic performance. The possibility of stress affecting physiological performance does not only apply to student-athletes, but also to those who are regularly active and wish to maintain their fitness. The negative effects of academic stress are not limited to those who are regularly athletic, as it relates directly back to depression. Exercise is an excellent way to combat depression, but maintaining a good fitness level can prove to be an issue if academic stress is causing the individual to be unable to physically perform. In this study, we will be evaluating the torque output of both student-athletes and non-athletes at the beginning of the semester versus the torque output during midterms, which will show us how college students’ physical performance is affected by stress. The findings in this study have the potential to bring awareness to the issue and consequences that stress has on both student-athletes and physically active non-student athletes.

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