My Prospectuses

Below I will be discussing my finalized ideas for my research article and my applied project. They both have some similarities and relate to my health science major.

Research Article Prospectus

Spending time outdoors helps combat stress

This may be a shock to some who have read my last blog post. I convinced myself that I wanted to do research on physical activity and stress. I later changed my mind because after talking to a few people about my ideas, physical activity can be an outlet for stress only if you really enjoy it. So I changed my mind completely and went with one of my

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last resort ideas. Spending time outdoors helps lower your stress. This is something that I truly believe and would really enjoy looking at some research for this topic. Whenever I feel stressed out, I want to get away. By get away, I mean away from technology and closed areas. I want to feel the warmth on my skin from the sunshine and the breeze running through my clothes and hair. I don’t want to hear the sound of another text or notification from social medias. Being outdoors hands down lowers my stress levels.

Stress has a large negative impact on your mind and your body. Stress can make you more susceptible to illness and cause you to separate from the world. It can also cause fluctuation of your weight and breakouts on your skin. A high amount of stress is just too much. I can personally relate to the negative impacts of being too stressed out for a long period of time. I want to dig deeper into a solution that I personally have for combating my stress level. I want to prove that being outside doing any type of activity such as hiking, running, walking, walking your dog, swimming, doing homework, or anything along those lines can be so beneficial for your health.

Stress is something that people deal with at all ages and there are tons of people who do not practice the proper coping mechanisms. If more people are aware that they can lower their stress by being in nature, I am sure more people would decide to do so. I have lived with chronic headaches and usually get them when I am the most stressed. Being outdoors helps me even if its for 15 minutes. I want it to be able to help others too.

I plan on getting all of my resources for my research article before April 10th. My main source of research will be peer reviewed full text articles from the Library data base. I will then begin putting the paper together after a rough outline is done. I want to have the first draft of my article done by the 25th of April at the latest. I will then review my work and make any changes that are needed.

Applied Project Prospectus

Survey for college students and their methods of coping mechanisms for stress

As you can tell, I am passionate about the stress topic. I have talked about stress in other courses before this one and have succeeded in finding great and useful information on the topic. College students really stick out to me for this topic. College students are faced with things like binge drinking, studying until late hour of the night, balancing work and school work and social life and much more. I thought it would be interesting to look more into college students’ coping mechanisms and seeing how unhealthy they truly are. I want to create a survey that I will post over my social media for college students to take. The survey will consist of an array of coping mechanisms and other personal questions relating to the topic. By researching more about this topic, it may help make more professors, students and others aware of the stress levels of college students on a day to day basis.

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When I get results from my survey, I will post the data in percentages in another blog post. I will also research stress and coping mechanisms for other universities and colleges and compare them to my data that I collect. I want to send out the survey ASAP and have it done before the end of March. This way, I have about a month to collect the surveys that people take and gather all the data appropriately. I want to have the publication done before May 12th, 2018.

Research Article and Applied Project

Ideas for RA:

  1. Physical activity improves stress
  2. Taking time off is better for your health
  3. Physical activity helps combat agitation
  4. Correlation of PE classes and agitation of children
  5. Spending time out doors helps combat stress

Ideas for AP:

  1. Survey college students and their methods of coping mechanisms for stress
  2. Compare coping mechanisms between college students
  3. Compare stress levels with myself and 3 roommates
  4. Survey students that the gym and compare their stress levels before and after their workout

Above are my ideas for my research article and my applied project. Most of the options I posted have a lot to do with stress and activity as well as coping. In college or school in general, stress is a large part of the day to day life. Students have multiple classes and exams to worry about while trying to work and make time to be social. With all of the activities that students have to juggle, they barely have enough time to sleep.

I will be discussing my research article ideas first. The first idea is that physical activity has a positive impact on stress. I thought this would be a very interesting thing to research since physical activity and stress are two things that I feel passionate about. The mind and body have such a huge connection with one another. When your body is happy, so is your mind and vice versa. A challenge to this is that I want to focus mainly on college students and teenagers. There may not be that much data for that age group.

The second idea is taking time off is beneficial for your health. Everyone enjoys their personal time. I personally enjoy my time off and think it is essential for one to have in order to get through long weeks. By not taking personal time and doing things that you enjoy, it could lead to stress and burnout. I want to research this and find out the facts for sure. Again I am focusing on stress, but instead of physical activity I want to focus on personal time. No specific age group here so I don’t believe I would run into that obstacle. One challenge that I may face is the lack of data on this subject.

The third idea is that physical activity helps combat agitation. I have read articles over the years where young children who are troubled and physically aggressive in schools show less aggression when exposed to more physical activity. I think this topic is so interesting. Again I am very attracted to physical activity and think it has so many health benefits. I believe that there will be many articles about this topic. That may be an issue because there may be too many resources and a lot of information to focus on.

My forth idea relates to my third idea. This time I would be comparing physical education classes to aggression in children. The main focus here would be on elementary school aged children which may be easier to research. I think it may be easier to focus on the youth because I believe it is important to combat aggression at a young age versus an older age.

My fifth idea would look at stress and spending time outdoors. This day and age many children and people in general are spending a lot of time with technology. The days of staying outside are becoming obsolete which I think is having a negative affect on your body and mind. Whether it is hiking, sunning, taking your dog for a walk, or just sitting on your porch, any activity outside can ease your mind and relive stress. This topic focuses on the technology aspect, mental health, physical health and the outdoors.

Now i’m going to focus on ideas for my applied project. I came up with 4 ideas that I think grab ahold of my interest. The first idea is that I would want to survey college students and compare their stress levels and coping mechanisms for stress. It will be easy to make an online survey since many students are on social media. I want to be able to compare their coping mechanisms and dictate which ones are positive and negative coping strategies. Large amounts of stress can lead to a serious decline of mental and physical health. College students are the main focus here because of the risk of binge drinking and drug abuse. One challenge a may face is not getting enough of a sample for the population. There are over 4 thousand students at Plymouth State University so I am hoping that a large sample will be willing to take the survey.

My second idea is focussing more on the coping mechanisms of stress. In college students are faced with many positive and negative influences. Students choose to cope with their stress in individualized ways. A good amount of time, these are positive ways of coping. It would be interesting to see which coping mechanisms would stick out among others and which would be more popular. A struggle for this topic is that it may not be very interesting to people and gathering this data may be harder than anticipated.

My third idea would be to compare stress levels of the people within my household. I live  with three other roommates. I would plan on comparing stress levels of each individual each day and what they do or don’t do that day to combat their stress. It would be interesting to see the dynamic between each person and see the differences that each does to combat their stress each week. I would continue this up until the end of the year. The problem with this is that their may not be a long enough time to get enough data and 4 people may not be a large enough sample size.

My last idea would be to compare the stress levels of students before and after their workout. I would accomplish this because I currently work at the gym at PSU. I would ask the people who come in to rate their stress levels before their workout on a numerical scale and separate male and female. Then I would ask the same person to rate their stress again after their workout and see if the stress level of the individual goes down, goes up or stays the same. I think this is a great way to get a large sample size since I work 5 days a week. College students are my main focus for this because as stated before, I feel as though college students are typically more stressed.

A large majority of my ideas focus on stress or physical activity. These ideas relate to my major being health science because mental health and physical health go hand and hand.  I feel like I am in a good place now with what my focus is going to be on for both my research article and applied project.