Differences in physical activity and nutritionand silhouette-related behaviours in male and female students in selected European countries
More details
Hide details
Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in Biala Podlaska
Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Kosice, Slovak Republic
Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic
University of Pécs, Hungary
Corresponding author
Józef Bergier   

Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in Biala Podlaska, Sidorska 95/97, 21-500 Biała Podlaska, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2018;25(1):176-181
As indicated by the WHO, lifestyle plays a unique role in human health, which in turn is determined to a great extent by physical activity and nutrition. It must be borne in mind that physical activity should be systematic and regulated by an age-appropriate exercise intensity. All this indicates that learning about students’ lifestyle, with a particular focus on physical activity is vital as it these young people who aspire to the role of the future elites.

The aim of the study is to evaluate the level of physical activity, nutrition- and silhouette-related behaviours of male and female students to assess the relationships between these variables in students from the Visegrad Group countries.

Material and methods:
The study was conducted in 2015 and involved 2,497 students attending three undergraduate levels aged – x – 21,76, (SD-1,80) – 1,211 males (48.5%) and 1,286 females (51.5%). The IPAQ long-form and a questionnaire by the Polish Chief Sanitary Inspector were used.

Physical activity was significantly higher in male than female students. An important relationship was observed among the larger number of consumed meals, level of physical activity, and silhouette-related behaviours in male students, which was not the case with females. However, there was an important correlation between physical activity in males and females who exercised to increase or decrease body weight (musculature), and took medications to increase body weight (musculature).

Both males and females showed pro-health attitudes related to the level of physical activity and nutrition- and silhouette-related behaviours.

World Health Organization: WHO Mortality Database – 1st May 2013 update. WHO Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems, Geneva 2013, [access: 10.05.2015], http://vvTVW.WorldHealthOrgani... tml.
World Health Organization: Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2014. WHO, Geneva 2014.
Colman GJ, Dave DM. Physical activity and health (No. wl8858). National Bureau Econ Res. 2013. doi: 10.3386/wl8858.
Humphreys BR, McLeod L, Ruseski JE. Physical activity and health outcomes: evidence from Canada. Health Economics. 2014; 23(1): 33–54.
Neufer PD, Bamman MM, Muoio DM, Bouchard C, Cooper DM, Goodpaster BH. Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of physical activity-induced health benefits. Cell Metabolism. 2015; 22(1): 4–11.
World Health Organization: Obesity and overweight. Factsheet [access: 07.12.2015] n311.WHO,Geneva2015,http://www.WorldHealthOrganiza....
Komisja Europejska: Eurobarometer 64.3 Health and food. European Comission, Brussels 2006.
World Health Organization: Noncommunicable diseases. Fatctsheet. WHO, Geneva 2015, http://www.WorldHealthOrganiza....
Pengpid S, Peltzer K. Physical inactivity and associated factors among university students in South Africa. African J Phys Health Educ Recreat Dance (AJPHERD). 2013; 19(1): 143–153.
Baar J, Romppel M, Igel U, Brahler E, Grande G. Associations Between the Residential Environmental and Physical Activity in German College Students and the Role of Self-Efficacy as a Mediator. Selbstwirksamkeitserwartung als Mediator der Zusammenhange von Wohnumgebung udn körperlicher Aktivitat Studierender. Zeitschrift für Gesundheits-psychologie. 2014; 3: 118–128.
Tsos A, Oliynyk O, Szepeluk A. Subjective health profiles among the Ukrainian school youth from medical school. Health Problems of Civilization. 2016; 10(1): 32–38. doi:10.5114/hpc.2016.58206.
Haase A, Steptoe A, Sallis JF, Wardle J. Leisure-time physical activity in university students from 23 countries: Associations with health beliefs, risk awareness, and national economic development. Prev Med. 2004; 39(1): 182–190. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.01.028.
Hoyos I, Irazust A, Gravina L, Gil S. M, Gil J, Irazusta J. Reduced cardiovascular risk is associated with aerobic fitness in university students. Eur J Sport Sci. 2011; 11(2): 87–94.
Chiang L, Zhang P, Casebolt K. A Comparison of College Students’ Physical Activity Levels between Taiwan and the United States. Asian J Exer Sports Sci. 2013; 10(2): 49–60.
Padmapriya K, Krishna P, Rasu T. Prevalence and patterns of physical activity among medical students in Bangalore, India. Elect physic. 2013; 5(1): 606–610.
Angyán L, Téczely T, Mezey B, Lelovics Z. Selected physical characteristics of medical students. Med Educ. 2003; 8:1–6.
Dąbrowska-Galas M, Plinta R, Dąbrowska J, Skrzypulec-Plinta V. Physical activity in students of the Medical University of Silesia in Poland. Physical Therapy. 2015; 93(3): 384–392.
Stasiołek E, Jegier A. Physical activity in medical students. Med News. 2003; 72:140–142.
Kapka-Skrzypczak L, Bergier B, Diatczyk J, Niedźwiecka J, Biliński P, Wojtyła A. Dietary habits and body image perception among Polish adolescents and young adults-a population based study. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2012; 19(2): 299–308.
Krzych Ł. Analiza stylu życia studentów Śląskiej Akademii Medycznej. Zdr Publ. 2004; 114(1): 67–70.
Medrela-Kuder E. Zainteresowanie problematyka żywienia przez studentów krakowskiej Akademii Wychowania Fizycznego. Żyw Człow Metab. 2003; 30: 1–2.
Tsos A, Bergier B, Bergier J. Physical activity, physical development and eating habits within the lifestyles of students from Ukraine. Health Problems of Civilization. 2014; 8(4): 46–53.
Skibniewska KA, Radzymińska M, Jaworska MM, Babicz-Zielińska E. Badania zwyczajów żywieniowych studentów polskich i belgijskich. Żywność. Nauka. Technologia. Jakość. 2009; 4(65): 250–258.
Butler SM, Black DR, Blue CL, Gretebeck RJ. Change in diet, physical activity, and body weight in female college freshman. An J Health Behav. 2004; 24–32.
Hajhosseini L, Holmes T, Mohamadi P, Goudarzi V, McProud L, Hollenbeck CB. Changes in body weight, body composition and resting metabolic rate (RMR) in first-year University freshman students. J Am Coll Nutr. 2006; 25: 123–127.
Huang TK, Harris KJ, Lee RE, Nazir N, Born W, Kaur H. Assessing overweight, obesity, diet and physical activity in college students. Jam Coll Health. 2003; 52: 83–86.
LaCaille L, Dauner KN, Krambeer RJ, Pedersen J. Psychosocial and Environmental Determinants of eating behaviors, physical activity, and weight change among college students: a qualitative analysis. J Am College Health. 2011; 59(6): 531–538.
Chaix B, Kestens Y, Duncan S, Merrien C, Thierry B, Pannier B, et al. Active transportation and public transportation use to achieve physical activity recommendations? A combined GPS, accelerometer, and mobility survey study. Int J Beh Nut Phys Activity. 2014; 11. doi:10.1186/sl2966–014–0124-x.
El Ansari W, Khalil K, Crone D, Stock C. Physical activity and gender differences: Correlates of compliance with recommended levels of five forms of physical activity among students at nine universities in Libya. Central European J Public Health. 2014; 22: 98–105.
Tsos A, Kasarda O, Pantik V. Female students at higher educational institutions in Ukraine and their level of physical activity. Health Problems of Civilization. 2017; 11(3): 158–162.
Leung CW, Ding EL, Catalano PJ, Villamor E, Rimm EB, Willett WC. Dietary intake and dietary quality of low-income adults in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Am J Clin Nut. 2012; 96(5): 977–988.
Bergier B, Bergier J, Tsos A. Zachowania żywieniowe a aktywność fizyczna studentów ukraińskich. In: Stemplewski R, Szeklicki R, Maciaszka J., editors. Aktywność fizyczna i żywienie – w trosce o zdrowie i jakość życia. Poznań: Bogucki Wydawnictwo Naukowe; 2015 (in Polish).
Yahia N, Wang D, Rapley M, Dey R. Assessment of weight status, dietary habits and beliefs, physical activity, and nutritional knowledge among university students. 2015; 28: 112.
Storey KE, Forbes LE, Fraser SN, Spence JC, Plotnikoff RC, Raine KD, et al. Diet quality, nutrition and physical activity among adolescents: the Web-SPAN (Web-Survey of Physical Activity and Nutrition) project. Public Health Nutr. 2009; 12(11): 17.
Shani D, Nimbalkar A, Phatak A, Nimbalkar S. Training in Dietary Practices and Physical Activity to Improve Health among South Asian Medical Students. Advances in Preventive Medicine. 2014;
Suliburska J, Bogdański P, Pupek-Musialik DM, Krauss H, Piątek J. Analysis of lifestyle of young adults in the rural and urban areas. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2012; 19(1): 135–139.
Rębacz-Maron E, Pawlak M, Michnik K. Stan odżywienia i aktywność fizyczna wśród studentek Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego. Hygeia Public Health. 2013; 94(2): 371–377.
Biernat E. Aktywność fizyczna mieszkańców Warszawy. Na przykładzie wybranych grup zawodowych. 2011. Szkoła Główna Handlowa.
Biernat Biernat E, Lubowiecki-Vikuk AP. Socio-demographic determinants of leisure time physical inactivity of adolescents from the voivodeships of central Poland. Cent Eur J Sport Sci Med. 2017; 17(1): 43–52.
Soguksu K. Physical activity level between Polish and Turkish university students (IPAQ). In: Bergier B., editor. Physical activity in health and disease. Pope John Paul II State School of Higer Education in Biała Podlaska. 2011: 19–27.
Rasińska R. Nawyki żywieniowe studentów w zależności od płci. Nowiny Lekarskie. 2012; 81(4): 354–359.
Szponar B, Krzyszycha R. Ocena sposobu żywienia studentów Uniwersytetu medycznego w Lublinie w roku akademickim 2007–2008. Bromat. Chem. Toksykol. 2009; XLII, 2: 111–116.
Falkowska M. Raport CBOS- komunikat z badań: nawyki żywieniowe i upodobania kulinarne Polaków – październik 2000., 17.11.2007.
Biały K. Raport CBOS- komunikat z badań: Dbałość o własna sylwetkę – październik 2003., 22.06.2007.
Bergier J, Bergier B, Tsos A. Physical activity and eating habits among female students from Ukraine. Health Probl Civilizat. 2015; 9(2): 5–12.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top