Pedagogical university students' health rating and improvement in academic education period

Фотографии: 

PhD, Associate Professor N.N. Setyaeva1
PhD, Associate Professor L.V. Sokolovskaya1
PhD, Associate Professor L.V. Diorditsa1
1
Surgut State Pedagogical University, Surgut

Keywords: health, students, health components, key health components correction methods, integrated health resource rate.

Background. The ongoing reforms of the national education system set high requirements to the student health and working capacity albeit the national student population is still ranked among the most vulnerable health groups. It critically needs due health rating and correction services since the very first days at the university supported by an academic health service designed on the most efficient basis with a wide range of disease prevention and health improvement initiatives [3].

Objective of the study was to rate, on an integrated basis, the pedagogical university students’ health resources in the academic education process and offer new efficient methods and tools to correct the key health components.

Methods and structure of the study. Subject to the educational experiment were Surgut State Pedagogical University students (n=54). The experiment was designed to rate the students’ health versus a variety of factors of positive and negative effect on the student health in the academic education and training process based on the study data arrays that had been accumulated for three successive years of 2013–2016. The Study Group and Reference Group subjects were tested under the study by standard laboratory tests using a computerised Istoki Zdorovya [Health Sources] System to obtain screenshots of their mental, physiological and somatic health rates plus the adaptability and functionality rates, with additional data provided by a physical development test unit. The test data were mathematically processed using the Fisher’s angular transformation φ criterion.

Study results and discussion. At the two-year fact-finding stage of the study, we analysed the subjects’ health variability using a wide range of criteria to rate and profile the general health resources on the whole and physical, mental and adaptation resources in particular: see Table 1.

Table 1. General health, physical, mental and adaptation health resource rates of the pedagogical university students for the academic years of 2013–2015, % (headcounts)

Health rates

Level*

2013-2014

2014-2015

Р

Male group (n=17)

General health resource

H

11,8% (2)

5,8% (1)

> 0,05

AA

41,2% (7)

17,7% (3)

> 0,05

A

29,4% (5)

52,9% (9)

> 0,05

BA

11,8% (2)

11,8% (2)

> 0,05

L

5,8% (1)

11,8% (2)

> 0,05

Physical resource

H

0% (0)

0% (0)

> 0,05

AA

11,8% (2)

11,8% (2)

> 0,05

A

29,4% (5)

58,9% (10)

> 0,05

BA

35,3% (6)

11,8% (2)

> 0,05

L

23,5% (4)

17,7% (3)

> 0,05

Mental resource

H

5,8% (1)

0% (0)

> 0,05

AA

17,7% (3)

17,7% (3)

> 0,05

A

47,1% (8)

52,8% (9)

> 0,05

BA

0% (0)

11,8% (2)

> 0,05

L

29,4% (5)

17,7% (3)

> 0,05

Adaptation resource

H

0% (0)

0% (0)

> 0,05

AA

17,7% (3)

5,8% (1)

> 0,05

A

35,2% (6)

17,7% (3)

> 0,05

BA

17,7% (3)

11,8% (2)

> 0,05

L

29,4% (5)

64,7% (11)

> 0,05

Female group (n=37)

General health resource

H

5,4% (2)

8,1% (3)

> 0,05

AA

10,8% (4)

18,9% (7)

> 0,05

A

29,7% (11)

24,3% (9)

> 0,05

BA

40,6% (15)

13,5% (5)

> 0,05

L

13,5% (5)

35,2% (13)

> 0,05

Physical resource

H

0% (0)

0% (0)

> 0,05

AA

2,7% (1)

0% (0)

> 0,05

A

45,9% (17)

5,3% (2)

< 0,05

BA

10,7% (4)

56,7%(21)

< 0,05

L

40,5%(15)

37,8% (14)

> 0,05

Mental resource

H

8,1% (3)

13,5% (5)

> 0,05

AA

18,9% (7)

13,5% (5)

> 0,05

A

8,1% (3)

8,1% (3)

> 0,05

BA

45,9% (17)

37,8% (14)

> 0,05

L

18,9% (7)

27%(10)

> 0,05

Adaptation resource

H

0% (0)

0% (0)

> 0,05

AA

16,2% (6)

10,7% (4)

> 0,05

A

24,3% (9)

43,2% (16)

> 0,05

BA

54% (20)

2,7% (1)

< 0,05

L

5,3% (2)

43,2% (16)

< 0,05

* H high; AA above average; A average; BA below average; L low

Prior to our study, we tested 11.8% and 5.8% of the male group with the high general health and mental health resource rates, respectively. No one in the sample was tested with a high physical or adaptation resource rate, with the test data dominated by the BA (below average) and L (low) rates. The situation was much the same for the female group, with 5.4% and 8.1% of the females tested with the high general health and mental health resource rates, respectively. These data demonstrated the need for further health studies of the student population.

Having analysed the test data for the first two academic years, we found a notable health regress as verified by the test rates. We believe that the health deterioration could be due to high emotional stresses in the academic education process with some students being particularly vulnerable to them. Some negative effect on health on the whole and mental health in particular may be caused by the academic athletic training and competitive process. Precompetitive and competitive anxiety, emotional tension and stress are known to be of negative effect on the student’s mental health.

As far as the adaptation resources are concerned, these rates in the female group were found to vary at the below-average to low levels. At the first stage of the study, we assumed that the low adaptability of the students was due to the stresses of the period of leaving school and entering university and the standard state examinations. At the second stage, the regress was largely attributed to the academic process overstress and too hard training process that gives no time for body to recover. Our study data generally confirmed the findings by T.V. Abysova et al [1, 2] that reported 68% of the first-year university students tested with depressed adaptation rates that were attributed to the high mental stresses of the academic education process.

The above findings raised many questions on how the new health improvement methods will be designed in application to subject student population. Therefore, at the fact-finding stage of the experiment we split up the subjects into Study Group and Reference Group and developed a set of health correction methods and tools to improve the key health components; followed by the methods being applied to the pedagogical university students in the educational process: see Table 2.

Table 2. Pedagogical university students’ health correction methods and tools in application to the key health components in the educational process

Goal

Mission

Tools

Methods

Forms

Outcome

1. Disease prevention module

Healthy lifestyle cultivation

Develop a habitual healthy lifestyle

Conditioning, respiratory, articulation and relaxation practices

Interactive, gaming, active sport practices

Discussions, games, flash mobs, physical education sessions

Due knowledge and interest in healthy lifestyles

2. Health improvement module

Health building

Normalise physical, mental and adaptation resources

Conditioning, respiratory, articulation, relaxation and apparatus-using practices

Interactive, gaming, active sport practices

 

Body tempering, Strelnikova’s respiratory gymnastics, mental reflexion, yoga, physical education sessions

Body functionality improvement in every tested domain

Prior to the educational experiment, both of the groups were virtually the same as verified by the prior test rates. After the experiment we found significant progress in the Study Group versus the Reference Group. At this stage the test data arrays were compared to profile variations of the total health, physical, mental and adaptation resources of the subjects. Given of Figures 1 and 2 hereunder are the heart rate variability test data.

Figure 1. Male subjects’ heart rate variability test data for the Study Group (SG) versus Reference Group (RG) prior to and after the experiment, %

Bradycardia Tachycardia Normocardia

RG prior to the experiment RG after the experiment SG prior to the experiment SG after the experiment

As demonstrated by Figure 1, 50% of the Study Group males were tested with normocardia and the rest with tachycardia. After the experiment, the share of normocardia-tested males grew by 33.3% to 83.3%; versus the Reference Group males tested with a 22.1% drop of normocardia for account of bradycardia that grew to 44.4%.

Figure 2. Female subjects’ heart rate variability test data of the Study Group (SG) versus Reference Group (RG) prior to and after the experiment, %

Bradycardia Tachycardia Normocardia

RG prior to the experiment RG after the experiment SG prior to the experiment SG after the experiment

The health progress in the SG was verified, for instance, by the normocardia rate growth to 85.3% versus 25% growth in the RG. Given in Table 3 hereunder are the visual motor response test data.

Table 3. Visual motor response test data of the Study Group (SG) versus Reference Group (RG) prior to and after the experiment, %

Levels*

Priot to the experiment

Р

After the experiment

Р

Study Group

Reference Group

Study Group

Reference Group

Male group

H

16,6%

44,5%

> 0,05

83,3%

0%

< 0,01

AA

0%

0%

> 0,05

0%

0%

> 0,05

A

50%

22,2%

> 0,05

0%

88,9%

< 0,01

BA

33,4%

22,2%

> 0,05

16,7%

0%

> 0,05

L

0%

11,1%

> 0,05

0%

11,1%

> 0,05

Female group

H

42,8%

50%

> 0,05

85,8%

55%

< 0,05

AA

0%

25%

> 0,05

0%

10%

> 0,05

A

28,6%

25%

> 0,05

14,2%

10%

> 0,05

BA

28,6%

0%

> 0,05

0%

25%

> 0,05

L

0%

0%

> 0,05

0%

0%

> 0,05

* H high; AA above average; A average; BA below average; L low

Having analysed the test data arrays prior to and after the experiment, we found the visual motor response rates in Study Group males increased by 66.7% in the high-level range, and that in the low-level range dropped by 16.7%; versus 44.5% of the Reference Group males tested with the high level rates; and after the experiment 88.9% were tested with the average rates. Female subjects of the Study Group also showed a higher progress in the visual motor response tests versus the Reference Group peers.

Summarising the experimental data and analyses, we found a good progress in the Study Group as verified by the general health and physical health resource rates increased by 15.6% and 32.9%, respectively, due to the athletic training course and the new health correction methods and tools applied in the academic education process. The mental resource rates were found to grow by 5.9% in the Study Group, and we have good grounds to attribute the progress mostly to the mental reflexion practices and special psychological service. The body tempering practices were found to improve the adaptation resource rates in the Study Group males by 19.2%. The Study Group females showed a similar progress in the health rating tests.

Conclusion. The Study Group showed significantly higher health progress versus the Reference Group as verified by the key health components rating tests. The study data and analyses give the grounds to rate the new health correction methods and tools applied in the academic educational process highly beneficial for every key health component in particular and the general somatic health on the whole.

References

  1. Abyzova T.V., Akatova A.A., Abramovich I.I. Otsenka fizicheskogo razvitiya studentov s razlichnym urovnem zdorovya v pedagogicheskom vuze [Evaluation of physical development of students with different health statuses in pedagogical university]. Adaptivnaya fizicheskaya kultura, sport i zdorovye: integratsiya nauki i praktiki: nauchnye trudy uchastnikov nauchno-prakticheskoy konferentsii [Proc. res.-pract. conference "Adaptive physical education, sport and health: integration of science and practice"]. Ufa: BashIPC publ., 2016, pp. 3–7.
  2. Abyzova T.V., Sharova L.V. Sistemny podkhod v kompleksnoy bioinformatsionnoy diagnostike i korrektsii adaptatsionnykh vozmozhnostey organizma studentov [System approach in complex bioinformation diagnostics and correction of adaptive abilities of students' body]. Vestnik Yuzhno-Uralskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Ser. Obrazovanie, zdravookhranenie, fizicheskaya kultura. 2011. Is. 26, no. 7, pp. 39–40.
  3. Chermit K.D., Kuprina N.K., Isakov O.I. Rol obrazovatelnykh uchrezhdeniy v formirovanii bazovoy fizicheskoy kultury lyudey i razvitii massovykh form deyatelnosti v oblasti fizicheskoy kultury i sporta [The role of educational institutions in formation of basic physical culture of people and development of mass forms of activity in physical culture and sports]. Vestnik Adygeyskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Ser. Pedagogika i psikhologiya. Maikop: ASU, 2012. no. 1, pp. 168–173.

Corresponding author: physical_science@surgpu.ru

Abstract

Students’ disease prevention and health improvement initiatives are ranked among the top priorities by the modern education system and society. Many national health systems give a special attention to the academic communities considering them a high health risk group since the morbidity rates in this group are normally higher than in other social groups. Objective of the study was to rate, on an integrated basis, the pedagogical university students’ health resources in the academic education process and offer efficient methods and tools to correct the key health components. The fact-finding study, analyses and education process experiment took 3 years, and the study data were applied to rate effects of a variety of positive and negative aspects of the academic education and training processes on the students’ health and the correctional effects of the applied methods. Subject to the study were 54 students. The integrated health resource rating component was found valuable for the educational aspects of the academic process, and the reasonably designed and managed health component correction methods and tools were found beneficial.