Lifestyle of university students related to health: comparison between freshmen and seniors

Jefferson Jovelino Amaral dos Santos, Nicole Saracini, Watusi Camila da Silva, Juliane Honório Guilherme, Telma Aparecida da Costa, Maria-Raquel de Assunção Gonçalves e Silva

Abstract


Introduction: Lifestyle in youth plays a significant role in preventing disease and promoting health throughout the life cycle of an individual. Objective: To analyze the lifestyle of college students at a private institution of higher education in Brazil, as well as the differences between freshmen and seniors. Methods: The sample was constituted by 720 college students, divided into two groups: freshmen (n=399) and seniors (n=321). The study assessed anthropometric measures as weight, height and body mass index (BMI) besides socio- demographic variables as gender, race, economic income, and marital status. Lifestyle was measured through the Questionnaire FANTASTIC, a validated self-administered questionnaire. Data were analyzed through descriptive statistics and posteriorly by Student´s t test for independent variables. Results: Freshmen presented a BMI lower than seniors (22.5±3.68 and 23.30±3.87 kg/m2, respectively). The values of the lifestyle variable scores were not different between groups when assessed globally, however, when the domains were individually evaluated freshmen had better results in physical activity levels, the issue of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and agitation. In turn, seniors had higher scores in the categories of affection and positive thinking. Conclusion: This study emphasizes the importance of the orientation of university students to a healthy lifestyle and providing physical activity programs in this environment aimed at weight control until the final years of study since seniors are the group more likely to overweight.


Keywords


life style; students; motor activity; body mass index; sedentary lifestyle; overweight

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7322/abcshs.v39i1.256

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Copyright (c) 2014 Jefferson Jovelino Amaral dos Santos, Nicole Saracini, Watusi Camila da Silva, Juliane Honório Guilherme, Telma Aparecida da Costa, Maria-Raquel de Assunção Gonçalves e Silva