HEALTH BEHAVIORS OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: A COMPARISON OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND TECHNICAL FACULTIES
INTRODUCTION:A healthy lifestyle is related to healthy practices, such as healthy diet, avoidance of psychoactive stimulants, appropriate level of physical activity, preventive behaviors, coping with stress, positive social relationships, and adjustments. University students do not usually engage in a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, excessive alcohol drinking among students is truly a health problem.
OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this study was to examine the association between alcohol drinking and healthy behaviors in undergraduate students from a large public technical university in the south of Poland (Europe).
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was used with participants of 283 second year undergraduate students, aged 22 years (SD = 2.92), including 88 (31%) students of Physical Education and 195 (69%) students of the Technical Faculty. The study used self-administered questionnaires of the Alcohol Drinking Scale (ADS) and the Health Behavior Inventory (HBI), which includes the following subscales: healthy habits nutrition (HHN), preventive behavior (PB), positive adjustments (PA), and healthy practices (HP).
RESULTS: Alcohol drinking was negatively correlated with the total HBI and also with two subscales: HHN and PPB. The female students drank significantly less alcohol than the male students and presented with a higher level of health behavior, both in the total HBI and in the individual HBI subscales, except for PA. Students of Physical Education drank more alcohol, and scored higher in preventive behaviors, than the students of Technical Faculties.
CONCLUSION: It seems necessary to conduct general health education as part of prevention programs at the university, especially for male undergraduate students in the Physical Education faculty.
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