Obesity and residence hall satisfaction among differing BMI levels
Morton, Alicia Maire
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Research has shown numerous areas of design can influence the physical activity and dietary choices of individuals (Trowbridge, et al., 2013). Obesity and its relationship to design is a relatively new topic; although, with the increasing obesity rates within the United States, a change needs to be made. Although this obesity problem is relatively new, it is more of a concern among American children, whose obesity rates having tripled since 1980 (Vitelli, 2013). This age group is particularly prone to weight gain, which is vital since the choices made now will affect the rest of their lives, for example, a lower quality of life and being overweight as an adult (Harvey-Berino, Pope, & Gold, 2012). The home environments, in which individuals eat, sleep and live, can have a significant impact on their body type including their weight. Living on campus provides students with housing close to classes, countless nearby food options, various on campus exercise opportunities, and many more benefits. Multiple aspects can play a role in the amount of weight gained or lost by an individual, but this study specifically focuses on the relationship between BMI and satisfaction. The food and exercise choices individuals make as well as the built environments they use can facilitate or hinder physical activity and healthy eating (Booth, Pinkston and Poston, 2005). Through the review of literature it was apparent that there was a need for spaces to be designed with obesity and satisfaction in mind. According to the Herman Miller, 2007, the residence hall plays a significant role in a student’s decision to go to that particular school. The purpose of this research study is to determine the relationship between satisfaction levels of residence halls on the campus of Texas Tech University and the four differing weight groups of individuals. It is important to determine how the existing as well as new on campus residence halls should be designed and changed in order to help improve the resident’s satisfaction. Through statistical analysis it was proven that BMI did significantly predict an individuals opinion on room layout when choosing a traditional room style residence hall on the campus of Texas Tech University. While the relationship between overall satisfaction and an individuals decision to stay residing in the residence halls on the campus of Texas Tech University could not be determined, there was not a statistically significant relationship found between these two variables and body mass index. This area of research is important to both design and the campus of Texas Tech University because it is important to design to satisfy the needs of the individuals residing within your space. It is important to the University because it allows them the opportunity to see relationships between design and their dwellers and could possibly change the way their residence halls are designed in the future. Future research could go further in depth in this area of study by looking closer at reasons behind BMI influencing an individuals opinion on room layout.