Are students and teachers of Slovak medical university motivated for physical activity?
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Slovak Medical University, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A684
The importance of physical activity (PA) for the human body is very well known. The physical inactivity significantly contributes to the development of chronic diseases and premature mortality. The Slovak Medical University (SMU) in Bratislava is a higher education institution keeping the tradition of education of health care workers in specialised studies and continuous lifelong education in Slovakia. It is assumed that students and teachers of SMU with mission to educate for prevention and a healthy lifestyle, follow the principles of a healthy lifestyle in their personal lives. According to WHO adults aged 18–64 years should do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic PA. Methods: We analyzed and compared the physical activity of teachers and students of SMU. The group consisted of 101 teachers and 242 students. Data collection was performed through an anonymous electronic questionnaire. Results: 44 teachers (43.56%) and 60 students (24.79%) engage in PA for more than 150 minutes per week. We analyzed the motivation of respondents to PA. 144 respondents are motivated to perform PA by friends (18.81% of teachers and 51.65% of students). 137 respondents chose the family as the main motivation (66.34% of teachers and 28.93% of students). Social networks, the internet, television and advertising motivate only 3 students (1.24%). Conclusions: It is astonishing that only a quarter of SMU students meet the WHO recommendations for PA. It is a challenge for SMU teachers to pass on to their students’ knowledge about a healthy lifestyle not only in theoretical form, but also their personal experiences from everyday life. We explain the low share of motivation through social networks and the internet to PA and, on the contrary, motivation mainly by close people (family in teachers and friends in students) in the current pandemic situation, when personal contact becomes highly valued.