Young people’s lifestyle as a determinant of future health of the society, based on tourism and leisure students from the University of Szczecin
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Introduction. A ‘healthy lifestyle’ means taking conscious actions towards increasing one’s health potential. Pro-health behaviors include: physical exercise and active forms of leisure, healthy nutrition, amount and quality of sleep, refraining from smoking cigarettes and limiting alcohol consumption, as well as refraining from drug use. Aim. This study is aimed at diagnosing lifestyle of young people who study Tourism and Leisure in Szczecin, Poland. Material and methods. The research was carried out among 127 students of Tourism and Leisure graduate studies, offered jointly by the Department of Physical Education and Health Promotion and Faculty of Management and Economics of Services at the University of Szczecin, Poland. The average age of subjects was 23.5 ±0.9. The research employed the diagnostic poll method with a survey; author’s own survey was used. Results were statistically analyzed with Kruskal-Wallis test. Results. 15.3% students suffered from overweight or obesity. On average, 28.8% of subjects were familiar with the definition of BMI. Only 65.4% of students declared regular physical exercise. Main obstacles to physical activity mentioned by students were: lack of time (45%), lack of willingness, laziness (40%) and lack of money (26.6%). Students who specialized in Health Aspects of Tourism and Leisure declared more frequent (p˂0.05) consumption of vegetables, fruit, milk and dairy products, along with reduced consumption of sweets, sugar and processed food, in comparison to students who specialized in Tourism Business. 21.7% of subjects reported smoking cigarettes and 100% admitted drinking alcohol. Drug use was reported significantly more often by students of Tourism Business (13.3%). Conclusions. Students’ lifestyle was dominated by anti-health behaviors, such as insufficient physical exercise, passive leisure, smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. These anti-health behaviors may lead to diseases of affluence in their future lives. Therefore, it is necessary to include pro-health education in students’ curricula; consideration should also be given to target and actual effects of education at Polish universities which offer Economics-related studies.
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