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Abstract

In faculties of health sciences, almost 30% of nursing students exercise less than once a week. This mixed-method case report presents the 38-month evolution of the physiological and psychological health parameters of a sedentary and physically inactive nursing student. During this period, she first took part in a one-semester institutional physical activity (PA) program that was offered by her university before being selected for participation in the Race Across America (RAAM) with a university relay team. In the four months leading up to the RAAM, she followed a cycling training program. After the RAAM, she was followed-up for the next 28 months. The results showed that each phase of the study had an important impact on the subject and showed that sedentary and physical inactive behaviours are reversible. Institutional PA programs, including training education in addition to concurrent strength and endurance training, can lead to physiological and psychological health improvements. For some individuals, participating in an athletic challenge can improve motivation and long-term adherence to PA participation. An individualised approach should be considered in future interventions that aim to promote PA participation. In the specific context of a university of health sciences, this kind of initiative could positively influence the general population’s health by empowering students to become role models towards PA promotion.

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