NIRSA members now have access to a resource intended to enhance the understanding of campus recreation participation, academic success, and health and wellness in college students. The report, authored by Kerri Vasold, PhD, Samantha Deere, Phd, and Jim Pivarnik, Phd, is titled “Benefits of campus recreation: Results of the 2011-2016 Recreation and Wellness Benchmark,” and provides an analysis of data collected through the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) recreation and wellness instrument. The purpose of this report is to add to the growing body of evidence that supports the value of campus recreation in terms of tangible student outcomes.
Major findings from the report include:
- Students who participate in moderate numbers of campus recreation activities and those making greater time investments in those activities report higher grade point averages than nonparticipants.
- Campus recreation programming has a positive impact on the likelihood of student retention.
- Students who participate in a greater number of campus recreation activities and with a higher time investment are more likely to report greater benefits to overall wellness including physical health, psychosocial health, and learning outcomes.
From the authors:
“Our Michigan State University team is pleased to have had the opportunity to evaluate these Recreation & Wellness Benchmark data. We believe that results from this evaluation have provided a wealth of information to NIRSA members and other researchers. Our findings should help recreation and wellness professionals as they continue to provide outstanding programming designed to assist college students in obtaining academic success, good health, and wellbeing.”
This report adds to the growing body of evidence that supports the role of recreation in developing healthy, successful students. Campus rec professionals are encouraged to share these results with campus colleagues and with students to encourage participation in various campus recreation programs.
This project was made possible through contributions to the NIRSA Foundation, which is committed to supporting the campus recreation profession by funding research and professional development opportunities. In line with this commitment, the “Benefits of campus recreation: Results of the 2011-2016 Recreation and Wellness Benchmark” is available to all NIRSA members free of charge.