Optimizing Health and Wellness Outcomes of Collegiate Recreational Sports Participation

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Collegiate recreational sports (CRS) provide an avenue for students to engage in diverse sport programs. While research has confirmed the health benefits associated with participation in CRS activities, an optimal degree of involvement is unknown. The current study examined the point of diminishing returns with respect to health and wellness outcomes associated with CRS involvement. A secondary analysis of data from the 2013 NASPA Assessment and Knowledge Consortium was conducted, including 33,522 college students from 38 institutions across the United States. Findings indicate that students experienced significant increases in health and wellness outcomes from CRS involvement up to four times per week (depth of involvement). Additionally, health and wellness outcomes significantly increased from CRS involvement up to six activities per week (breadth of involvement). Results from this study support the notion of a point of diminishing returns in CRS, which has implications for research, policy development, and sport management.


This article was originally published as Lower, L., Forrester, S., Elkins, D. J., Beggs, B. A. (2018). Optimizing health and wellness outcomes of collegiate recreational sports participation. International Journal of Sport Management, 19(1), 44- 56.