Evaluation of the health and physical activity characteristics of undergraduate paramedic and nursing students

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Abstract

Introduction: Levels of physical activity and health status are substantially influenced during the early adulthood years. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the health and physical activity characteristics of undergraduate paramedic and nursing students. Methods: This research comprised a descriptive and inter-discipline survey of a sample of university students enrolled in healthcare programs. The health status and physical activity patterns of paramedic and nursing undergraduate students were assessed using the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), respectively. Statistical comparisons for health status - total, eight health dimensions and weekly metabolic equivalent were performed. Results: A total of 226 undergraduate students were surveyed with 66.4% enrolled in the paramedic, 17.7% in the nursing, and 15.9% enrolled in the double degree nursing/paramedic Bachelor programs. Results for the SF-36 total show a significant difference in health status between the undergraduate programs (p=0.001). Reduced health dimensions were also revealed among first year students. Results for the IPAQ shows a significant difference in physical activity between the programs (p=0.03). Comparison between IPAQ and year of study show a significant difference between groups (p=0.03). Conclusion: Substantially reduced health status and physical activity patterns were shown in nursing students compared to paramedic students and among first year university undergraduates. This research highlights the need to further investigate the health status and physical activity patterns within university healthcare students.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalAustralasian Journal of Paramedicine
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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