Instructor leading an activity class on stage in a gym.

Physical Activity and Wellness

WPA and WPAL 101, Previously PED 101

Welcome to Physical Activity and Wellness (WPA and WPAL 101). Physical Activity and Wellness provides theoretical knowledge, fundamental concepts and practical experience in the principles, assessment, development and lifelong maintenance of personal wellness. This course presents a focus on effecting positive changes in personal health behaviors for improved quality of life and engages students in physical activity for wellness

Meet the Faculty »

Course Content and Format

Physical Activity and Wellness includes a fully online whole person wellness lecture (WPA 101) and a physical activity lab (WPAL 101) that must be taken simultaneously. The combination of the lecture and lab fulfill the University Studies Lifespan Wellness requirement.

Lecture topics include the following:

  • Introduction to Wellness
  • Effective Behavior Change
  • Self-Responsibility & Love
  • Breathing
  • Sensing
  • Eating
  • Moving
  • Feeling
  • Thinking
  • Playing & Working
  • Communicating
  • Intimacy
  • Finding Meaning
  • Transcending
  • Wellness Vision Mapping
  • Goal Setting

A wide variety of physical activity lab activities are offered. WPAL 101 lab topics include the following:

  • Physical Activity and Wellness
  • Lifestyle and Outdoor Physical Activity
  • Aerobic Fitness
  • Muscular Fitness
  • Mobility, Flexibility and Breath
  • Energy Management
  • The Impact of Physical Activity on Thinking and Feeling
  • Long-term Commitment to Physical Activity
  • Additional topics specific to lab

View lab descriptions »

Pre-Activity Screening

As part of the Lifetime Wellness requirement, students are required to participate in physical activity. It is strongly suggested that students visit a medical professional and obtain a physical prior to the beginning the class. If a student has not had a physical within 14 months of the start of class, they may be required to obtain a physical or get physician approval prior participating in the class. This decision will be based upon information students provide to their instructor through a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire. If a physical or physician approval is required, students are expected to complete that as soon as possible so they can engage in the course. Failure to obtain necessary approval after being instructed to do so could result in being dropped from WPAL 101. Any restrictions placed on participation in physical activity by a physician will not adversely affect student grade.

Substitution Waiver

For students who would like to substitute courses completed at other academic institutions or request a course waiver for other reasons (military service, age, etc.), visit our Waiver and Substitution Guidelines page.

Distance Education

A fully online version of WPA 101 is available for UNCW Extension and Distance Education students. To learn more about this version of the course, view our information page.

Instructor Resources

Resources for WPA 101 faculty can be accessed through the WPA 101 Instructor Notebook on Canvas.

Students With Physical Limitations

Students with physical limitations, due to a documented disability or chronic health condition, may request reasonable modifications or adaptations to participate to their greatest extent possible, while maintaining the course objectives. Students that are unable to engage in physical activity, due to a documented disability or chronic health condition, may request a substitution of PED 101 that does not require physical activity. Requests for modifications, adaptations and substitutions for these reasons must go through the Disability Resource Center. For more information, contact the Disability Resource Center or the Physical Activity and Wellness Coordinator.

Students with “temporary conditions,” such as injuries or short-term illnesses, are expected to enroll in WPA/L 101 when the condition subsides, unless extenuating circumstances exist. In such a case, the student may ask their request be considered and will need to provide a justification for the exception.