Association of study- and health behavior-related factors with university students’ health and health literacy - A monocenter cross-sectional study in Germany
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IST University of Applied Sciences, Department of Fitness and Health, Erkrather Straße 220 a-c, 40233 Düsseldorf, Germany
IST University of Applied Sciences
German Sport University Cologne, Working Group Physical Activity-Related Prevention Research, Institute of Movement Therapy and Movement-oriented Prevention and Rehabilitation, Am Sportpark Müngersdorf 6, 50933 Köln, Germany
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A701
Background and Objective:
University students (US) face challenging times characterized by home detachment, identity exploration, academic demands, and additional stressors due to the current global situation that can negatively impact health. Health behaviors (HB) and health literacy (HL) are important resources for maintaining health. The objectives are to evaluate the current health status (HS), HB, and HL of US and to identify study-related and health behavior-related factors associated with HS and HL.

A cross-sectional study was conducted at a University of Applied Sciences in Germany. Data were collected online between November 2020 and March 2022, using validated instruments to assess HS, HB and HL. HS, HB and HL were presented by descriptive statistics. Multiple linear regression analysis were performed to evaluate the associations between HS, HL, study-related and behavioral factors.

N= 550 participants (♀: 74%) were included. HS was positive, stress levels were high, sleep scores, physical activity, and HL were low. A high HS (p = <.004, adjusted R²: .254; f²: .34) was associated with male gender (b = .124, p =.031), higher life satisfaction (b = .050, p =<.001), better sleep (b = -.044, p =<.001) and nutrition (b = .016, p =.005). HL (p =.022, adjusted R²: .076; f²: .08) was positively associated with the target graduation ’master’ (b = .082, p =.051), better sleep (b = -.132, p =.004), healthy nutrition (b = .094, p =.031), lower alcohol intake (b = -.099, p =.017) and higher life satisfaction (b = .108, p =.022).

Students perceive themselves as healthy but exhibit critical HB and low HL, revealing potential for health-promoting interventions. Universities can draw on existing resources to implement the measures efficiently.

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