Date of Publication


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education


Purpose: Previous research has indicated that physical inactivity (PI) is linked to arterial stiffness. Similarly, a significant link between sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and poor cardiovascular health has been identified. The majority of previous research relating to arterial stiffness has involved studying older populations. However, few studies have examined college students. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of PI and SSB consumption on arterial stiffness in college students. Methods: 10 male college students (age 22.0±1.8 yrs, height 175.7±6.3 cm, weight 75.0±12.1kg) and 7 female college students (age 20.7±3.1 yrs, height 160.6±4.4 cm, weight 64.9±9.7 kg) voluntarily participated in this study. Participants completed an International Physical Activity Questionnaire- short form (IPAQ-S), wore an accelerometer for 10 days, and participated in an SSB consumption interview. Arterial stiffness was measured via pulse wave velocity using the Sphygmocor Xcel non-invasive system. Results: No statistically significant results were found from this study (p>0.05) when examining the relationship between PWV and age, height, weight, waist-hip ratio, body fat percentage, sugarsweetened beverage consumption, and physical activity minutes. Conclusion: Previous research has indicated that there is a relationship between SSB consumption, physical inactivity, and arterial stiffness. Significant relationships may not have been found because the majority of the participants in this study were students in the Exercise Science major, so they may be more physically active than the general student population. College students also tend to walk as their main source of transportation to and from classes, potentially negating the impact of SSB on arterial stiffness. Further research should be conducted on this population with a larger sample size and more diverse subjects. !