Young athletes exercising on exercise bikes in a health club.

Student Fitness Matters: New Resources to Help Schools Promote Student Fitness without Overloading Faculty

According to a study in the Journal of American College Health, about 70% of college students experience significant weight gain between their freshman and sophomore years (Racette SB, Deusinger SS, Strube MJ, Highstein GR, Deusinger RH. Weight changes, exercise and dietary patterns during freshman and sophomore years of college. Journal of American College Health, vol. 53(6); pp. 245-251, May/June 2005). This “freshman 15″ (according to the study, the average was closer to nine pounds) is almost seen as a rite of passage in numerous circles; but, it’s a rite which has serious consequences for a student’s current and future life, as well as significant cost for the medical care needed to combat related disorders.

Research has shown that the best way to make sure that one has the benefits of an active life is to start young. Physical strength and health conditions peaks in one’s twenties, and has a deep impact on health throughout one’s lifespan (An ES, Park HJ, Yoon JH, Hong Y, Woo SK, Exercise and health life, Seoul Hyunmoonsa. 2009:257-269).

Of course, the benefits of regular exercise don’t just have long term health benefits, it also contributes to heightened focus, retention  and an overall positive mood, all of which can mean the difference between a successful and unsuccessful college career.

Colleges and universities across the nation are realizing this and providing students with the tools they need to live a healthier lifestyle. Access to fitness facilities, healthier eating options at dining halls, and the presence of intramural sports are just some of the positive trends in higher education that we are seeing.

Many colleges and universities are taking this push a step further and requiring students to go through a physical fitness course as part of orientation or at the very beginning of the freshman academic year. They are making this investment because they see the results of intervening early with a population which needs to make substantial adjustments in lifestyle in order to academically and physically succeed in a new environment with a new schedule and a necessity for self-motivated physical activity. By intervening early, colleges and universities can help students create habits that will carry over to their entire college careers and postgraduate lifestyles.

F.A. Davis, a company solely dedicated to health-related content for the college audience, is now throwing its hat in the ring in order to provide students and instructors with the best content set and tools available to help students safely develop and maintain a healthy adult lifestyle, while also assisting professors and schools to provide needed instruction with strong class management support. The hallmark of F.A Davis, namely providing nothing but the most solidly-developed and authoritative health-related information in the market, is also brought to bare for these materials, alongside the expected customer support and attention of the market’s last family-owned health publisher.

We are proud to announce that F.A. Davis is the new publisher for Bill Prentice’s Get Fit, Stay Fit suite of products for courses in personal fitness and/or personal wellness. Dr. Prentice, a Hall of Fame Athletic Trainer and the Chair of the Exercise and Sport Science Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a world-recognized expert in guiding responsible physical activity, as well as a best-selling author.

Our suite of products (text, interactive website with e-book, instructor teaching resources, and LMS-compatible gradebook) provides schools and instructors with a variety of tools that help them engage, educate, and manage large numbers of students in self-paced, lecture-based, flipped, or completely online environments. Students are introduced to stretches and exercises through highly illustrated print materials (also available online through the ebook) as well as through over 300 detailed step-by-step videos all created under the watchful eyes of our expert author.  Students can track and submit fitness and nutrition progress through our online system, as well as share challenges and encouragement with other students through our small group work functionality.

In addition to the vast amount of physical fitness materials we provide, generous information on nutrition, stress reduction, and overall health is also provided and backed up through interactive activities on the web (all monitored and submitted to the relevant instructor’s personal grade book).  Wellness labs, which provide active learning explorations for students in a variety of health-related areas, are in every chapter of the text/ebook with additional labs also provided through the website. Professionally-recorded audio scenarios also provide students with an opportunity to think about decisions they will likely have to make while in college; but, in a safe environment which allows them to truly consider the best option for them before peer pressure may later be applied.

While the full suite of content provides an enormous amount of available resources, the product has been particularly designed to be concise enough to be used in short terms or one credit courses as well as expansive enough to be used for full terms if needed.

As usual, we are here to help, and would love to show you how this new suite of expertly-crafted content can help your school, class, and students meet their academic and fitness goals.


Quincy McDonald, Publisher, F.A. Davis Company

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