# Study on Student Health and Their College Life: Analytical Essay

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## Abstract

There is nothing important more than our good health. Health is not just about physical or medical fitness, it is also about how people deal with their emotional, mental and relationship behaviour. There are various important factors that affect the health of students. Some of them include nutrition, exercise, stress management, depression, and overall health. To analyze the health status of student health in LPU, information was collected via a lifestyle questionnaire, a standard survey tool by Student health and lifestyle survey Edinburgh healthy university research project), (Deniozou, 2015). By making use of SPSS/PC (statistical package for the social sciences) computer data entry and analysis was undertaken. Data analysis combine of mean, standard deviation, frequency distributions, percentages, means, and crosstab followed by Chi-square test. There are two questionnaires in which first part consists of demographic data including the student’s gender, age, and weight and the second section consists of various aspects including stress, depression, weight, diet, exercise. The data is analyzed between the hostellers and day scholar’s student with the given six factors. Results: According to the data there are 62.6% male and 37.4% female, out of total there are 55.7% hostellers and 44.3% day-scholar students. The mean age of the student is 21.37 and the mean weight of the student is 62. The parameter of the stress of the hostellers via day scholar student is calculated via the Chi-square test and the p-value of the stress obtained by crosstab is 0.000896(>0.05). The p-value of depression calculated by crosstab is 0.472(>0.05). The p-value of exercise calculated by crosstab is 0.091(>0.05). For the diet habit according to the data, the p-value of serving fruits and vegetables per day calculated by crosstab is 0.6168(>0.05). The parameter of the descriptive weight of the students resulted in the p-value calculated by crosstab is 0.981(>0.05). According to the results, the overall health of the hosteller via day scholar’s student resulted in the p-value of overall health calculated by crosstab as 0.48388(>0.05).Conclusion: After the analysis of the results, the null hypotheses between day scholars/ hostlers with all these parameters are accepted except the factor of stress. The result shows that whether a student is a day scholar or a hostler they are having good health with respect to the observed factors. Only stress is a major factor which is analyzed more in hostellers as compared to a day scholar. The reason for this could be family support which plays an important aspect in everybody's life.

## Aim of project work

The main purpose of the study is to investigate the health and lifestyle of graduate, undergraduate and postgraduate students at the Lovely Professional University. When the students enter in the university life, it is a critical time of transition to develop and integrate health-related behaviour into their lives. The students not only face academic challenges in their academic years but also face challenges on how to maintain their health behaviour and lifestyle. A number of studies have been done on the impact on student lifestyle during their higher studies. To overcome these sudden changes in their life, it is observed that they usually use alcohol, suffer from insomnia, and get stressed, and even sometimes result in weight gain. Hence there is a need to find out what are the important health issues in student life. This could lead to finding out the way to improve student health and lifestyle by using the required facilities. The aim of this research is to find out the factors that are responsible for the good health of students. These factors include living-status, diet, exercise, safety measure, and many others.

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## Transition to college life

There have been many studies conducted measuring the health belief of university life. Change to college life is known to be an exciting as well as stressful time for youth. These changes include adjusting academic workload, new environment, new relationship, diet and many more. With these changes and responsibility, the student has greater freedom and control over their lifestyles. The student normally uses smoking, drinking, sedentary lifestyle, poor dietary intake and ignoring safety habits.

Some of the major changes in the student lifestyle when they enter in college life are as following

1. New environment and relationship: When the student jumps in the college they must adapt to a new environment, make a new relationship, getting sufficient rest. Students find the most challenging thing is to live with their roommates. College gives the opportunity to the student to interact and live with students who belong to a totally different culture and background. Compromise and communication can build a smoother transition in student life because the roommates may or may not develop a close friendship.
2. Greater personal freedom: Students will get more independence if they live on their own and can vary the choices made by their parents and teachers. The freedom given to the pupils should be a satisfying learning process.
3. More responsibility: As more personal freedom is given to the students so they should understand their responsibilities to manage their daily routine which includes eating, sleeping, exercising, and attend the classes. Students also have to face other complex tasks such as to take part in clubs and extra activities, balancing studying, socializing, and other related things.

Some common stressors faces by the students are as following

1. Time management: Like in the school, students have not more eight hour classes and the remaining time should be adjusted between club and activities, homework, and self-care. But when pupils enter in college they generally think that there is no sufficient time for the tasks they want to do. Organizational skill and the perfect schedule will help the students to manage their changing and busy life.
2. Academic Pressure: Naturally college courses are more difficult and challenging and it is very difficult to perform all the academic responsibilities. Some pupils are pressurized by their parents. So to manage the increase academic tasks and expectation, it is important to attend classes regularly, complete their assignments and should take help if required.
3. Roommate conflict: The most challenging condition of going to college is to live with the unknown person. Most common resources of roommate conflict are different living habits such as neat, quiet, up all night, noisy, early to bed etc. Sometimes students fail to properly communicate with their roommates that lead to worries. In order to avoid conflicts with roommates, communication should be respectful.

There are some recommendations for the students as follow:

1. Be patient: While in campus student faces many difficulties and overwhelming, but with time everything changes. Student always prefers to communicate with the seniors and professor who always guide how to manage the academic tasks along with other extra activities.
2. Get involved: To interact with faculty members and other students, pupils should take part in some activities. Students can meet with the masses of their own interest and can take interest in social tasks.
3. Care of you: Healthy lifestyle is mandatory as being a human being. Taking necessary steps for nurturance, socializing, getting sufficient rest, taking part in some activities.

## Importance of Health

Health plays the most important role in our lives. If a person is not healthy, he won’t be happy, even if he is wealthy. Health is not just about physical or medical fitness, it is also about how people deal with their emotional, mental and relationship behaviour. There are various important factors that affect the health of students. Some of them include nutrition, exercise, stress management and eating habits. It is well known that nowadays students have too much stress in their college life. They all have sufficient time to do everything which is felt important, even they give extra efforts and concentrate on their work without giving proper attention to their diet and sleeping needs. The simple way to stay healthy and fit with a stress-free life is to follow a regular schedule of exercise and taking healthy diet. One of the measure issues regarding the health of students is weight gain. Students who maintain their ideal weight faceless health problems and also being physically active they maintain a relaxed state of mind, which is essential for their overall health. On the daily basis our body needs a sufficient amount of protein, minerals and vitamin to be a fit and healthy, so we should consume fresh and green vegetables, fruits, milk etc. Along with the healthy food and physical activities, students are advised to maintain cleanliness in their residence and surrounding areas. Many studies have proved that if people have fit and healthy they achieve greater success in their life.

## Public Health

The public health care support is very necessary and important. People must aware of the skills required for health care at the individual, family and community level. Drug awareness should also be a part of the discussion among youngsters to improve their health in which exercise plays an important role in maintaining a healthy life.

Many studies have been conducted on the framework of HBM (HEALTH BELIEF MODEL) as a descriptive model to determine the possibility of performing preventive health practices among college students. The HBM hold that people who are aware of their risk of diseases can modify their health behaviour to decrease the risk. This model was developed by social psychologists during their work with the public health department. The HBM attempts to explain and predict the health behaviours with a focus on health attitudes based on three core assumptions. These assumptions are founded to understand that the individual will take health-related action if they understand the impact of being healthy in their social and personal health.

## Exercise

Exercise has a lot of benefits in our daily life. The health benefits of physical activity and exercise have been supported by many researchers and health practitioners for many decades. Exercise refers to physical activities and mental exertion, carried out to maintain physical health and mental fitness. People who do regular exercise burn their calories; as a result, they lose their weight and look physically better. Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen level in the brain and also release the brain hormones that are responsible for the production of the cell in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory and learning. Physical activities also act as a major factor that leads to good quality sleep as taking good quality sleep helps to improve our health and also decrease problems like stress level, depression etc.

Following are a few reasons why students being physically active in college are so important:

1. Energy boast: Being a student life we usually feel like we are tired 99% of the time. Exercising three to four times in a week can literally boost your energy levels significantly which is a good thing to be awake and active in the class.
2. Stress Relief: Exercise produces endorphins; basically, endorphins are the chemicals which are produced by the brain. Endorphins are used as a painkiller that helps to reduce the stress levels and improve sleep.
3. Stimulates Brain cell: Students who do exercise on the regular basis actually have strong memory attention and more focus as well. Because when the students do exercise three and four times in a week can have a significant impact on their brain as well. Simply brain is a muscle and the more you work out the muscle the strong.
4. Lower diseases risk: Exercise can actually control high blood pressure, cholesterol, and many other diseases.

## Nutrition

A good nutrition diet is an essential need for human and a prerequisite to lead a healthy life. A proper diet is necessary from the early stage of life for proper growth, development and to remain active. When a transition occurs from school to college, students have more responsibilities of academic growth that lead to a good career; also they faced many challenges of the new environment and culture. No doubt, students often faced challenges to maintain a healthy lifestyle and make good nutritional choices. The main reason behind the challenge they faced to maintain their health is the availability of any kind of unhealthy food which often are unhygienic but are attractive and are easily available in the college premises. Many studies have been done by the researchers that emphasize the importance of nutrition and confirmed that the majority of college students don’t make healthy food choices.

In a study conducted by (Canson, 2002)which declared that males consumed more fast food, poultry and are also take cautions about the nutrition facts as compared to females. Females respondents likely try to lose the current weight and more preferable to use the food pyramid to make a food choice. Freshmen and seniors more prefer to eat snacks and seniors also reported less use of the food pyramid to guide food choices than of the other classes.

## Stress Management

Many studies indicated that stressful academic situations affect the performance of student life. The effect of the stress factor has been studied on the performance of college students which established that the low-stress level can improve the concentration for short period of time which works as a positive factor in improving student performance but too much stress can affect the student in a negative way and can lead to depression. No doubt, college life is very hectic and there are many factors for generating stress but the most common causes of stress for student life is a follows:

2. Family problems and loss of love ones
3. Pressure to perform well in exam
4. Living among strangers
5. Unfamiliar environment
6. Overthinking
7. Poor time management

Stress affects our life mentally, physically ,and emotionally. Here are some ways to help to avoid the stressors

1. Build a relationship and connect with others.
2. Change my-self-defeating thinking.
3. Exercise, take a healthy diet and get adequate sleep.
4. Set a realistic goal in your life
5. Learn to manage time effectively.
6. Don’t use alcohol, drugs, and other unhealthy habits to relieve your stress.

## Literature review

(Tol, 2013), According to this study, the main purpose of Health-promoting lifestyle (HPL) on life promotion via lifestyle process consists of six main factors which are like physical activities, nutrition, interpersonal relation, stress management, and spiritual growth. This study actually aims to determine the relation between the health-promoting lifestyle and its factors. The cross-sectional study was analyzed on undergraduate students at school of health Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, using a census method. Data analysis was conducted by employing the descriptive and inferential statistical tests in SPSS. The mean age of the students is 21.12 years old. Among the six factors, the mean of spiritual growth and responsibilities is 22.01±2.224. 40.7% student had the good general life quality and19.8% student had the average global life quality. The lowest and highest frequencies of health-related life quality, the student having 58.6% good and 9% excellent health. Except the two things like stress management (p = 0.05) and student gender, there were no substantial relationships amongst other HPL traits and gender. Health-related life quality and stress management were expressively related to each other; conversely, no statistically significant link was observed between health-related life quality and nutrition, physical activity, interpersonal relations, and spiritual growth. The whole study may be concluded on the fact that there is a promising relationship between accepting and adopting the health-promoting lifestyle with the aspects of its spiritual growth and stress management as compare to that via adopting general lifestyle.

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