Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Matthew P. Normand

First Committee Member

Bethany R. Raiff

Second Committee Member

Scott A. Jensen


The World Health Organization (WHO, 2016) reports that 3.2 million deaths per year are attributable to physical inactivity, making it the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. Physical inactivity is also a key risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes (WHO, 2018). Globally, 1 in 4 adults is not active enough and, therefore, foregoes a myriad of health benefits associated with Physical Activity (PA; WHO, 2018). In the United States, only about 1 in 5 (21%) adults meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2018). The CDC currently recommends adults engage in 150 min of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week (CDC, 2018). Translated to steps, the recommendation can be met by taking 3,000 steps in 30 min, 5 days per week (Marshall et al., 2009). Physical inactivity is also a major contributor to obesity (WHO, 2018). According to the WHO (2018), worldwide prevalence of obesity almost tripled since 1975. In the United States, the medical costs of obesity were estimated to be $147 billion, or 10% of all medical spending (Finkelstein, Trogdon, Cohen, & Dietz, 2009). To combat the many problems associated with physical inactivity, the CDC (2015), the WHO (2018), and the American Heart Association (2018) prescribe increased PA. Furthermore, increased PA contributes to a variety of other health benefits, including a decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, as well as improved mental health, and increased life expectancy (CDC, 2018).





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