Assessing the Physical Activity, Diet and Wellbeing of University Students: a Comparison Between Courses and Gender.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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University students are at a critical age in which lifelong behavioural habits are adopted. A failure to form positive lifestyle behaviours such as the uptake of regular physical activity can adversely affect the physical and psychological health of individuals in later life. This research aimed to investigate whether there is a difference between the physical activity levels, diet and wellbeing of students on sport and health and non-sport and health related university courses and also between males and females. A student sample (n= 68; females= 37) were recruited and grouped according to the type of course they were enrolled on (sport and health related n= 37, non-sport and health related n= 31). Participants completed a selfreport questionnaire which was devised to assess anthropometrical measurements, levels of physical activity, dietary consumption and wellbeing. Results from the Mann Whitney-U analysis reported no significance differences between course type and body mass index, moderate, vigorous and total physical activity, macronutrient intake and wellbeing. Males accumulated significantly higher levels of combined physical activity per week in comparison to females, this being explained through the significance difference also found in male’s vigorous-intensity physical activity levels. The entire sample was classified as achieving ‘moderate’ levels of wellbeing satisfaction, indicating that the students are in need of behavioural modifications in order to improve wellbeing and health. Future research needs to focus on studying these factors identified but amongst a larger student population due to the lack of significant differences found, as well as focusing on sport related courses, health related courses and non-sport and health related courses independently.
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