IMPACT OF ADDING AN ADDITIONAL FITNESS CENTER
TO TOWSON UNIVERSITY
Tia Freiburger, Campus Recreation Services Department
Associate Director of Facilities and Operations
May 19, 2013
May 19, 2013
Campus Recreations Services, Associate Director of Facilities and Operations
Towson, MD 21252
INTRODUCTION: PURPOSE OF REPORT
This study is designed to observe the direct health benefits and the increase in university appeal that building an additional fitness center would bring to Towson University. The study is aimed to find solutions for the following questions: How would building an additional fitness center at Towson University impact the health of Towson University students?
How would the addition of another fitness center impact the physical activity levels of students?
BACKGROUND: CURRENT SITUATION AT TOWSON UNIVERSITY
Towson University has a student population of 21,950 and an even more alarming number is that 83% of these students are undergraduates. These undergraduate students seem to spend a lot more time on campus and play a larger role in defining what Towson University stands for. Towson University has seen an increase in student population and student applications over the last decade. More importantly there has been a significant increase in out of state students, which is a direct result to the growing national attention Towson University has been gaining. Directly related to the growing student population there comes a need for the increase of campus services provided by Towson University. A major concern is the lack of fitness centers available on campus. Currently Towson University has a single fitness center that could be used by students, which is known as Burdick Hall. Burdick Hall is known to have limited equipment and is always too crowded due to the high student population. The vast development of the West Village region of campus over the past three years is a great location for the much needed additional fitness center.
MENTAL HEALTH BENEFIT
There has been a direct correlation between mental health and exercise. Mental health factors such as anxiety, stress, depression, and low self-esteem effect college students across the country. The constant work load and deadlines can cause students to experience high levels of anxiety and stress. The journal of mental health conducted a study and it was reported that the college demographic experienced the highest levels of stress (Tyson, 2010). Also a study performed by the University of Hertfordshire located in England showed a direct relationship between exercise and the lowering of stress and depression levels. A group of 100 undergraduate students reported significant decreases in stress and depression levels after three weeks of monitored exercise (Tyson, 2010). The results are described below, as you can see the line indicating the decrease of these levels after three weeks of exercise.
*Chart from (Tyson, 2010)
The addition of a second fitness center at Towson University would help fight the high levels of depression, anxiety, and stress that appear on college campuses. The gym would provide equipment for aerobic (walking, jogging, running) and anaerobic (weight training) exercise that both have been proven to positively impact mental health. The fitness center would provide resources for the students to relieve stress and maintain positive mental health attributes.
PHYSICAL HEALTH BENEFITS
The additional fitness center would offer significant ways for students to increase their physical health at Towson University. Towson University has been promoting physical health with their “Healthy Alternatives “diet campaign that has been appearing in every dining hall on...
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