Health & Physical Education and Exercise Science

Health & Physical Education and Exercise Science

“Studying Health and Physical Education at Saint Peter’s has allowed me to have a wide range of experiences in preparation for the health and fitness industry. I was the President of the Health and Fitness club which allowed me to plan and coordinate many community health and fitness events, spearhead on-campus events such as the color run, and engage in motivational speaking. I had the opportunity to work at the Recreation Life Center as a student manager and as a group fitness instructor. The courses, internships, and experiences that the Health and Physical Education Department has afforded me have contributed to shaping my future. My ultimate goal is to own a commercial gym franchise through which I plan to impact the health and well being of my clientele.” – Damier ’17

journal pdf

Read our latest Journal of Holistic Health! (PDF)

There has never been a greater need for leaders in health and physical education.

We offer many classes in the early evening, online and during the winter and summer sessions; please contact us for more information.

Poor lifestyle health-behaviors are the number one cause of chronic disease in the United States, accounting for 75% of our health care costs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the demand for fitness workers and instructors will maintain its positive trajectory, with a projected growth rate of 14% from 2022 to 2032, significantly outpacing the average for all occupations. There is a similar growth expected among employment opportunities for exercise science and the kinesiology workforce.

The health and physical education program prepares you for post-graduate work and professional service in the fields of physical education and health education.

The program is dedicated to innovative teaching, meaningful community and professional service, and creative scholarly endeavor. Our Health and Fitness Club and internship possibilities provide students with unique opportunities to serve and educate both within the Saint Peter’s community and beyond.

The health and physical education program offers a major in health and physical education with a concentration in health education or physical education to prepare students for employment in a number of venues including commercial fitness, corporate health and fitness, and community recreation and health promotion.

Students can also participate in a teaching certificate preparation program.

Alternatively, through our kinesiology and biomechanics courses, exercise science students explore careers in physical therapy, other therapeutic fields, and strength and conditioning. Students develop a plan for their intended exercise science career path with close guidance from faculty and a network of experienced mentors.

The Effectiveness of Mindfulness Meditation and Gentle Yoga on Spiritual Well-Being in Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Study


Background Cancer survivors face countless physiological and psychological challenges that affect their abilities and negatively impact their quality of life and general well-being. A biopsychosocial-spiritual approach to health management may be beneficial.

Primary Study Objective To assess the effect of gentle yoga and mindfulness meditation on spiritual well-being in cancer survivors.

Methods/Design  This is a mixed methods, quasiexperimental pilot study providing 10 weeks of gentle yoga and mindfulness meditation twice per week to cancer survivors.

Setting The intervention was provided at a South Florida university in the summer months.

Participants Ten cancer survivors self-selected to participate in the 10-week study; 2 participants did not complete the post-test data collection.

Intervention Each class opened and closed with 5 to 6 minutes of nonmoving mindfulness meditation. The mindfulness meditation techniques included body scan, breath awareness, visualization, affirmation, and compassion meditations. The gentle yoga practice was a series of beginner yoga postures and stretches. The mindfulness meditation techniques of breath and body awareness during yoga created what is referred to as a “moving meditation” with yoga postures encompassing the movement portion.

Primary Outcome Measures The Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy – Spiritual Well-Being 12 Item Scale (FACIT-Sp-12) and 2 open-ended questions.

Results The FACIT-Sp-12 pre- and post-test data were analyzed using a paired samples t test. There was a significant improvement in overall spiritual well-being from pretest (μ = 34.25, SD = 7.28) to post-test (μ = 39.50, SD = 7.91); t (7) = -4.02, P = 0.003. Qualitative data: the participants reported improvements in various aspects of spirituality, fitness, emotional well-being, stress management, sleep, and a sense of social connectedness.

Conclusion The biopsychosocial-spiritual approach to health care may play a vital role in addressing the wellbeing of the whole person. Gentle yoga and mindfulness meditation can result in improvement in measures of spiritual well-being among cancer survivors and may be further utilized as an accessible intervention for those who are suffering throughout all segments of society. (Altern Ther Health Med. [E-pub ahead of print.])