Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Health Sciences


Michelle Hesse



Objective: To determine if collegiate athletic trainers meet the current national recommendations for a healthy weight, diet and physical activity.

Design: The research was a cross-sectional design consisting of a self-constructed survey formulated using the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and 2009 Academy of Sports Medicine Physical Activity Recommendations.

Subjects: One- thousand randomly selected athletic trainers were contacted to participate. One-hundred and five participants (10.5% return rate) completed the survey. All were District 3 members of the National Athletic Trainers Association.

Measurements: Body mass index (BMI) was calculated using participant self-reported height and weight data. Means and frequencies were computed for BMI, dietary intake of nutrients, and physical activity length and duration. Frequencies were calculated for age, years of experience, and collegiate division. One-sample t-test compared mean BMI, mean dietary intake and physical activity compared to national recommendations. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Fisher’s Least Significant Differences (LSD) post-hoc tests examined differences in BMI among years of experience and collegiate division. One- way ANOVA and LSD post-hoc tests examined differences of nutritional outcomes and physical activity levels across collegiate divisions. A p-value of p=0.05 was set as the level of statistical significance.

Results: On average, athletic trainers s were identified as overweight according to BMI (27.4 kg/m2 , 0.45 SD). Athletic trainers in Division II setting had significantly higher BMI scores compared to those working at Division I or Division III collegiate settings (p= .015). Significant differences between athletic trainers’ consumption and national recommendations was found (p=.0001), with athletic trainers consuming less fruits and vegetables, dairy and water than recommended. Division II athletic trainers were found to eat at fast food restaurants more frequently than Division I or Division III (p= .029) The average frequency of weekly physical activity was 3.7 days, with only 36% (n=38) meeting recommendations of 5 days or more (p=.001).

Conclusion: Athletic trainers, on average are overweight and do not meet nutrition and physical activity recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines and Academy of Sports Medicine. There appears to be differences between Collegiate Division, higher BMI and certain dietary outcomes.

Keywords: athletic trainer, nutritional guidelines, physical activity, overweight