Journal of Community Health

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 74–80 | Cite as

Health Perception According to the Lifestyle of University Students

  • Beatriz de-Mateo-SillerasEmail author
  • Mª Alicia Camina-Martín
  • Alicia Cartujo-Redondo
  • Laura Carreño-Enciso
  • Sandra de-la-Cruz-Marcos
  • Paz Redondo-del-Río
Original Paper


University students are characterized by having inadequate eating habits, along with an unhealthy lifestyle, which, among other factors, can affect the perception they have of their state of health. The aim of the study was to evaluate the health perception of a group of university students according to lifestyle. A cross-sectional observational study was carried out on 214 university students from different universities and branches of knowledge. Anthropometric data were collected. Three questionnaires were administered: PREDIMED (Mediterranean Diet (MD) adherence), SF-36 (perception of health state) and GPAQ (physical activity (PA)). The differences between variables were analyzed using Student-t or Mann–Whitney U, Kruskal–Wallis and Pearson Chi-Square tests. Statistical significance was reached at p < 0.05. Most students were found to be normal weighted. The subjects presented an moderate MD adherence, this being better in Health Sciences students. 75.7% practiced light PA. The health perception is worse for most of the subscales analyzed than that of the reference population (except physical-function, physical-role, and emotional-role). There is an association between PA and health perception: students with intense PA have less body pain and better physical function; the less active, the less vitality. The more physically active subjects the greater MD adherence. Lifestyle and eating habits of health sciences students are healthier than that of students from other branches of knowledge. The physically active subjects have a better perception of quality of life-related to health and greater MD adherence.


Students University students Physical activity Mediterranean diet Perceived health 



Physical activity


Health sciences


Health-Related to Quality of Life


Mediterranean diet


Global Physical Activity Questionnaire


Body Mass Index


Other branches of knowledge


Branch of knowledge


Short-Form 36 Health Survey


Author Contributions

The authors’ responsibilities were as follows—BMS, MACM and PRR: designed the study; ACR, LCE and SCM: were responsible for the data collection; BMS: PRR were responsible for data entry and performed the statistical analysis; BMS, PRR and ACR: wrote the manuscript; and all authors: contributed to the critical revision of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beatriz de-Mateo-Silleras
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mª Alicia Camina-Martín
    • 1
  • Alicia Cartujo-Redondo
    • 1
  • Laura Carreño-Enciso
    • 1
  • Sandra de-la-Cruz-Marcos
    • 1
  • Paz Redondo-del-Río
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Faculty of MedicineValladolid UniversityValladolidSpain

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