Healthy lifestyle related values and motivations building in university students

O.I. Myakisheva1
PhD, Associate Professor G.V. Valeeva1
Associate Professor E.V. Prokhorova1
Associate Professor V.A. Khadzhimamedova1
1Ufa State Petroleum Technical University, Ufa

Keywords: academic education, students, questionnaire survey, physical education, healthy lifestyle.

Background. Healthy lifestyle may be defined as a combined system that implies a reasonable immunity to bad habits (smoking, alcohol, drugs etc.), good rest, healthy diets, efficient physical activity with due relaxation, outdoor walking, and the relevant health agenda, goals and, most important, motivations [4]. Motivations alone, however, are not enough for a healthy lifestyle as they should be complemented by a hard work to modify the own habits and predispositions. A habitual healthy lifestyle is developed with time when the individual notes and appreciates positive transformations in his/her own physical and mental health.

Objective of the study was to test, by a questionnaire survey, the healthy lifestyle related values and motivations in university students.

Methods and structure of the study. Sampled for the survey were the first- (n=761 including 482 males and 279 females) and third-year (n=829 including 447 males and 382 females) students whose healthy lifestyle values and motivations were tested by an anonymous questionnaire survey in 2017-18 academic year by the Ufa State Petroleum Technical University’s Physical Education Department team [2]. The age gap in the sample was intended to rate progress/ regress in every healthy lifestyle motivation with age.

Results and discussion. The question Do you consider physical education an indispensable component of a general student culture? – was responded positively by 87.4% and 91.3% of the first- and third-years male groups, respectively – that may be indicative of the more responsible attitudes of the senior group to physical education. Relatively small shares in both of the groups were negative or uncertain in responses. The female groups responded generally the same, with the gender gaps estimated at 3.9% and 4%, respectively.

The question Are your physical practices systemic? – was responded positively by 37.9% and 47.8% of the first- and third year male and 26.5% and 49.0% female groups, respectively. This means that the responsible attitudes to physical education have grown with age by 9.9% and 22.5% in the male and female groups, respectively. Occasional practices were reported by 48.9% and 46.0% of the first- and third-year male and 52.0% and 41.6% female groups, respectively. The drops of 2.9% and 10.4% in the male and female groups with age may be explained by the growing academic workload. No leisure time physical practices were reported by 13.2% and 6.2% of the first- and third-year male and 21.5% and 9.4% female groups, respectively. The growth of 7% and 12.1% in the male and female groups may be interpreted as indicative of the growing interest in physical education with age.

The question What are your ways to stay healthy? – was responded as follows: healthy diet and daily regimen reported by 44.6% and 35.2% of the first- and third-year male and 42.1% and 61.5% female groups, respectively. This means that the junior males and senior females are 8.4% and 19.4% (respectively) more sensitive to the diet and regimen – that may be explained by the males developing some negligence to diet with age whilst the females become more interested due to the body shaping and health issues. Physical trainings were reported by 39.2% and 50.3% of the first- and third-year male and 44.1% and 28.3% female groups, respectively. The 11.1% growth and 12.8% drop in the male and female groups (respectively) with age may be explained by the males’ growing interest in physical fitness with age and the higher academic pressure on the females with age. Medicines were unexpectedly reported by 17.2% and 14.5% of the first- and third-year male and 13.8% and 10.2% female groups, respectively; with the usage reportedly dropping by 2.7% and 3.6% with age, respectively. The relatively higher usage of medicines by the beginner students may be explained by the adaptation challenges.

The questions Do you take alcohol? Do you smoke? – were responded negatively (never has tried) by the higher proportion of the first-year students versus the third-year ones irrespective of gender. Occasional and frequent usage was found to fall with age – that may be explained by the students’ growing health awareness with age.

The question What is your favorite pastime? – was responded as follows. Studies were reported by a higher proportion of the first-year students versus the third-year ones – that may be explained by their adaptation challenges in transition from school to university. The highest determination for studies was reported by the first-year female group (56.9%). Fitness, swimming and other sports were reported mostly by the third-year male and female groups (56.6% and 39.2%, respectively). Computer games were found more popular in the beginner student groups versus the senior ones.

The question What are your sources of information about healthy lifestyle? – was responded as follows. physical education lectures were reported mostly by the first-year students, with the proportions being 13.8% and 12.2% higher in the male and female groups (respectively) than in their senior peers. Internet sources were reported mostly by the third-year males and females. And consulting with the PE teacher was found equally popular in the male and female groups irrespective of age.

The question How would you rate your own health? – was responded good by above 50% of the sample; and satisfactory by 30%. Mostly the first-year students were uncertain on the issue. Such age gap is explainable by the senior students developing a broader awareness in the healthy lifestyle issues and higher responsibility for the own health with age.

Conclusion. The survey data were interpreted as indicative of the senior students being more determined in the healthy lifestyle issues (apparently due to better physical education competency), more active in the off-class physical trainings, and more efficient in the time management, healthy diets and healthy daily regimen. In addition, the 3-year students were tested with positive changes in their attitudes to alcohol and tobacco, more active in habitual fitness, swimming, body-building and other sports and on the whole committed to the modern healthy lifestyles. The survey data show that the efforts to form due health motivations in university students offer high potential benefits albeit never easy in the healthy lifestyle cultivation projects.

References

  1. Bal'sevich V.K., Lubysheva L.I. Fizicheskaya kultura: molodezh i sovremennost [Physical Education: Youth and Modernity]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2004, no. 4, P. 7.
  2. Valeeva G.V., Valeev D.Z. Analiz otnosheniya studentov k distsipline 'Fizicheskaya kultura' [Analysis of students' attitude to Physical Education discipline]. Fizicheskoe vospitanie i studencheskiy sport glazami studentov [Physical education and student sports through the eyes of students]. Proc. nat. res.-pract. conf. with internat. part., Nov 06-08 2015, Kazan, 2015, pp. 41-42.
  3. Myakisheva O.I. Problemy formirovaniya zdorovogo obraza zhizni [Problems of healthy lifestyle formation]. Aktualnyie problemy fizicheskoy kultury, sporta i turizma [Actual problems of physical education, sports and tourism]. Proc. intern. res.-pract. conf. 12-14 Feb, 2009 USPTU. Ufa, 2009, P. 141.
  4. Prokhorova E.V., Myakisheva O.I., Fazylova E.A. Mediko-biologicheskoe obespechenie i psikhologo-pedagogicheskie problemy fizicheskoy kultury i sporta [Biomedical support and psychological and pedagogical problems of physical education and sports]. Osobennosti organizatsii fizkulturno-ozdorovitelnoy deyatelnosti v vuzakh na sovremennom etape sotsialno-politicheskogo razvitiya Rossii [Features of organization of health and fitness activities in universities at the present stage of socio-political development of Russia]. Proc. intern. res.-pract. conf., dedicated to XXXI Summer Olympics. Mar 15. USPTU. Ufa, 2016, pp. 100-105.

Corresponding author: rbcf2706@mail.ru

Abstract

Healthy lifestyle may be defined as a combined system that implies a reasonable immunity to bad habits (smoking, alcohol and drugs), good rest, healthy diets, efficient physical activity combined with relaxation, outdoor walking, the relevant health agenda, goals and, most important, motivations. Objective of the study was to test, by a questionnaire survey, healthy lifestyle values and motivations in university students. Sampled for the survey were the first- (n=761 including 482 males and 279 females) and third-year students (n=829 including 447 males and 382 females) whose healthy lifestyle values and motivations were probed by a survey form. The age gap in the sample was intended to rate progress/ regress in every healthy lifestyle motivation with age. The survey data were interpreted as indicative of the senior students being more determined in the healthy lifestyle issues (apparently due to the better physical education competencies), more active in the off-class physical trainings, and more efficient in the time management, healthy diets and healthy daily regimens. In addition, the 3-year students were tested with healthy changes in their attitudes to alcohol and tobacco, more active in habitual fitness, swimming, body-building and other physical practices and committed on the whole to the modern healthy lifestyles. The survey data show that the efforts to cultivate due health motivations in university students offer high potential benefits albeit never easy in the healthy lifestyle cultivation projects.