Working on Wellness (WOW) – Orange and Blue Zone (OBZ) behavior program focusing on physical activity and nutrition with college students

Orange & Blue Zone (OBZ) – Working on Wellness (WOW)

Title: Working on Wellness (WOW) – Orange and Blue Zone (OBZ) behavior program focusing on physical activity and nutrition with college students

Collaborators: Campus Recreation at UIUC


Lifestyle and health risk behaviors contribute to the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among young people and adults.

Although chronic disease was once thought to be a problem of older age groups, there is a shift toward disease onset in young university college students. In 2016, the American College of Health Association National College Health Assessment II (ACHA-NCHA II) implemented a national survey which included college students from hundreds of universities. The survey consistently found that college students experience health problems that impact their well-being which may contribute to chronic diseases in their future. In addition, the survey found few students met national nutrition and physical activity

Higher education is an opportune setting for chronic disease prevention and health promotion, yet, public health efforts towards college students are trivial. As a result, universities have adopted health promotion and disease prevention strategies, such as, ‘Healthy Campus 2020’ and ‘Exercise is Medicine on campus’ (EIM-OC) which are commonly implemented by university health centers, recreation centers, or kinesiology departments. EIM-OC calls upon universities to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health by encouraging the faculty, staff, and students to work together to improve the health and well-being of the campus community. To date there has been limited research performed on the efficacy of wellness program among the university students in an academic setting. Specifically, this research would evaluate the impact of a wellness program with university students by connecting them with other students as ‘fitness peers’, ‘nutritional coaches’, and ‘counselors.’

The goal of this program is to establish an 8-week ‘Orange and Blue Zone’ (OBZ) wellness program obtainable to university students to examine the effectiveness of a targeted physical activity and nutrition program in eliciting behavior change. Our primary outcomes are improvement in physical activity behavior, to meet baseline recommendations of 150 minutes at a moderate intensity on a weekly basis, and to achieve a reduction in dietary sodium intake, to 2400mg daily. Secondary outcome goals of our work would be to assess the programs impact on blood pressure, quality of life, self-efficacy, and barriers to action in students as they relate to physical activity and nutrition behaviors.

Contact Graduate Student Alexis King for more information.