2016, Volume 8, Issue 4

Health disorders and exercising behaviour that characterize the transitional stage of first-year students at the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences



Vida Juškelienė 1, Aušra Kalinkevičienė 1

1Faculty of Sports and Health Education, Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences


Author for correspondence: Vida Juškelienė ; Faculty of Sports and Health Education, Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences; email: vida.juskeliene@leu.lt


Full text

Abstract

Background: Previous studies have revealed high prevalence of students exhibiting unhealthy behaviour, such as insufficient physical activity during their transitional phase from school to university. Research shows that students’ health is worse compared to non-student pears. However, health and its determinants in specific subgroups, such as students –future teachers, have remained largely unexplored. In contemporary society, teachers are expected to fulfil the role of health educators regardless of the subject they teach in school. So they may maintain good health potential and develop healthy lifestyle themselves. The present study aims to estimate the health status of first-year students at the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences and to determine its relation to exercising behaviour.

Material/Methods: The study was based on an anonymous questionnaire with the sample size of 314 students.

Results: The survey revealed that 19.4% of the respondents were taken ill 4 times and more with acute diseases, 35.0% experienced frequent health symptoms over one year prior to the study, 34.7% used some medicine over the past half-year period. Headaches, tiredness in the morning, fast fatigue, nervousness, irritability, and sleeplessness were the most prevalent symptoms among them. In the study group 22.3% of the students were insufficiently physically active as reported exercising once or less per week.

Conclusions: A relative risk of acute diseases was estimated to be 2.4 times higher for insufficiently physically active students compared to those who exercised at least twice per week.


Key words: university students, self-reported health status, health symptoms, physical activity