Physical activity, health, body mass index, sleeping habits and body complaints in Australian senior high school students.

Department of Health Sciences, Mid Sweden University, Ostersund, Sweden.
International journal of adolescent medicine and health 01/2008; 20(4):501-12.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Adolescents in the industrial world are becoming less physically active and are increasingly adopting a sedentary life-style in front of computers and television screens.
to determine self-related health, physical activity, sleeping habits, prevalence of overweight, and body complaints in Australian senior high school students.
Participants were 466 high school students aged 15-17 years enrolled in academic and vocational programs. A questionnaire was completed at two senior high schools with questions about weight and height, health, physical activity, type of physical activity/sport, intensity, sleeping habits, and possible injuries or complaints during the last three months.
Seventy seven percent of the high school students participated in sports on a regular basis. Compared with vocational programs, more males and females in academic programs participated in sports (71% and 80% respectively) (p = .036). Males reported significantly better health than females (p < .0001). 65% of the study group reported body complaints during the last 3 months. A higher number of females than males reported complaints about the back (p = .007) and the hip (p = .05). Good sleep was reported in 82.1% of males and in 76.6% of females. In males, 44.3% were often sleepy in the daytime (females 56.6%, p < .01).
Underweight, physical activity and good sleep are factors with significant positive effect on good health, whereas overweight is a negative factor. Proper sleep habits and higher physical activity levels should be promoted among high school students, and TV viewing time and video game use restricted. Additionally, schools should provide opportunities for young people to participate in a wider range of physical activities that address their individual needs while promoting the health benefits of engaging in regular exercise.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Both scientists and the general public assume that physical activity (PA) is an effective, non-pharmacological approach to improvement in sleep quality. However, objective and reliable data on this relationship are scarce, particularly for adolescents. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to test the relationship by assessing both PA and sleep subjectively and objectively. A total of 56 adolescent vocational school students (Mean age=17.98, SD=1.36; 28 males, 28 females) participated in the study. Sleep and PA were subjectively assessed via questionnaires. Accelerometers objectively assessed PA, while sleep-EEG devices objectively assessed sleep. The data supported our prediction that adolescents with high PA levels would have longer TST, fewer wakening at night (WASO), fewer symptoms of insomnia, and higher sleep quality. However, gender influenced this pattern of results in that significant findings were only found between high self-reported PA levels and shorter perceived sleep onset latency (SOL). Though self-reported PA levels were a better predictor of good sleep than objectively assessed PA levels, gender was associated with sleep complaints; females reported more sleep complaints. Results indicate that among a non-clinical sample of adolescents increased PA is favorably associated with restoring sleep. Therefore, PA seems beneficial not only for physical and mental health, but also for sleep restoration.
    Physiology & Behavior 07/2013; · 3.16 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There are no nationwide trend surveys of the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms among university students. The aim of the study was to examine whether the prevalence of perceived musculoskeletal pain symptoms among Finnish university students has changed from 2000 to 2012, and to explore the co-occurrence of these symptoms. Four cross-sectional nationwide representative samples (n = 11,502) were compared in 2000 (n = 3174), 2004 (n = 3153), 2008 (n = 2750) and 2012 (n = 2425). The prevalence of weekly neck-shoulder, lower back, limb or joint, and temporomandibular joint pain was studied. All the studied pains increased significantly from 2000 to 2012. The prevalence rate of neck-shoulder pain increased from 25% to 29%, lower back pain from 10% to 14%, and limb and joint pain increased from 7% to 8%. The prevalence of pain in temporomandibular joint increased from 4% to 5%. In addition, the co-occurrence of different musculoskeletal pain symptoms increased. All of these pain symptoms were more common among female students and among older students. An increasing trend in the prevalence of frequent musculoskeletal pain was found over the period of 12-years among Finnish university students.
    European journal of pain (London, England) 03/2014; · 3.37 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective An inactive lifestyle has been associated with functional somatic symptoms (FSS), but findings are contradictory. Moreover, mediating factors in this relationship are unclear. We examined whether low physical activity was related to FSS in adolescents, and whether this association was mediated by low physical fitness. Methods This study was part of the Dutch longitudinal cohort study TRAILS, in which 1816 adolescents (mean age 16.3 years, SD 0.7) participated during the third (T3) and 1881 (mean age 19.1 years, SD 0.6) during the fourth assessment wave (T4). Adolescents’ exercise and sedentary behavior levels and number of FSS were assessed by questionnaires at T3 and T4. Physical fitness (VO2max) was determined for 687 adolescents by a shuttle run test at T3. The association between physical activity and FSS was examined with bootstrapped linear regression analyses, adjusted for smoking and gender. In addition, bootstrapped mediation analyses were performed. Results A lack of exercise (b = 0.05, bootstrap 95%-CI: 0.01 to 0.09) and high sedentary behavior (b = 0.10, bootstrap 95%-CI: 0.06 to 0.14) at T3 were positively associated with FSS at T3. Since no longitudinal effects were found, shared associations were tested instead of mediation. The associations between a lack of exercise and FSS, and sedentary behavior and FSS were shared with physical fitness (b = 0.01, bootstrap 95%-CI: 0.01-0.02. and b = 0.03, bootstrap 95%-CI: 0.01-0.05), . Conclusion An inactive lifestyle is associated with increased FSS in adolescents. Only part of this association is shared with low physical fitness.
    Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 01/2014;