Assessment of Health-Promoting Behavior and Lifestyle of Adolescents of a North Indian City

Sonika Raj, Suraj Singh Senjam, Amarjeet Singh

Abstract


Background: Several health‑compromising behaviors (e.g., smoking, alcohol) as well as health‑enhancing behaviors (e.g., physical exercise, nutrition) are adopted in adolescence and they often persist into adulthood. Thus, there is a definite need to investigate the health behavior of adolescents rather than focus on adults since it will be far more difficult for adults to change their unhealthy habits adopted in their youth. Therefore, the present study was conducted to ascertain health‑promoting behavior and lifestyle of university graduates of Chandigarh.

Methods: The present cross‑sectional pilot study was conducted in Chandigarh during 2009 among university graduates of Chandigarh aged 17-20 years. A semi‑structured, pretested questionnaire comprising of 28 items was used to get information from students regarding their involvement in diet, physical exercise, spirituality and philanthropy. Height, weight, waist and hip circumference of the respondents were measured using standardized equipments and procedures.

Results: Mean score of health‑promoting lifestyle profile of university graduates was found to be 67.5 ± 12.1 (maximum attainable score = 106). Fourteen students were found to be overweight. Frequent intake of fast food and less consumption of fruits and vegetables was reported by the students. Majority of students exercised as part of their daily routine.

Conclusions: The result of the study showed that North Indian students had reasonably good orientations toward health behaviors, with a mean score of 67.5. The topics related to diet, physical exercise, spiritual growth and philanthropy promotion should be incorporated within the curriculum of students for their all round personality development.

Keywords: Adolescents, health promotion, lifestyle behavior, philanthropy, yoga

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