Referred Students’ Motivators And Barriers To Participate In An EIMOC Program: 1482 Board #290 May 31 900 AM - 1030 AM

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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to describe referred students’ motives and barriers to participating in an Exercise is Medicine on Campus (EIMOC) training program at Illinois State University.METHODS: Referrals are initiated by Student Health or Counseling Services, and referred students complete an intake session with the School of Kinesiology and Recreation’s (KNR) Exercise is Medicine on Campus staff. Student Health and Student Counseling services indicated a need for physical activity (PA) programming for students with certain conditions (e.g. social anxiety, body image concerns, obesity, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders) that would benefit from increased physical activity performed in a private setting. Students are referred to the School of KNR EIMOC program, which is informed and implemented by graduate students and Exercise Science faculty with expertise in the areas of exercise physiology, biomechanics, and exercise psychology. Specific diagnoses are not currently provided by Student Health or Counseling services to EIMOC staff.RESULTS: Since the initiation of the referral system in 2016, 40 students (Women = 30, Men = 10) have been referred to the EIMOC program - 30 from Health Services and 10 from Counseling Services. Approximately half of these were already performing some activity, but were either not meeting recommended levels of PA or needed assistance with their exercise program. At the time of submission, ten of the 40 students had completed full intake questionnaires and consent forms. Descriptive statistics were calculated on data from these ten subjects to identify reasons for pursuing participation in the EIMOC program and clients’ current motivations for and barriers to PA. All subjects cited “improving energy levels” as an important motivator for PA. The top three reported barriers for PA were Lack of Willpower (M+SD = 6.1+2.9), Lack of Energy (M+SD = 4.4+2.4) and Social Influence (M+SD = 4.0+1.8). Privacy of the exercise sessions (90%), expertise of the staff (90%), and physician referral (70%) were selected as strong motivators for pursuing the EIMOC program.CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary data suggest that students referred to Illinois State University’s EIMOC program pursue it due to an interest in increasing PA levels in a private, supervised setting.

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