Journal article Open Access
Aleksandra M. Rogowska
Research indicates that university students fail to exhibit satisfactory levels of health-oriented behaviors regarding their diets, physical activity, preventive practices, alcohol and drug use, coping with stress, personal relationships and mental health. This study examines the differences in health behaviors between genders and BA majors. A cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of 220 second-year undergraduate students, aged between 19 and 41 (M = 21.98, SD = 2.89), divided into three groups according to their BA majors: Physical Education (PE, n = 88, 40.00%), Technical Engineering (TE, n = 67, 30.46%), and Social Sciences (SS, n = 65, 29.55%). The majority of the subjects were males (n = 147, 66.82%). A paper-and-pencil self-report questionnaire, the Health Behavior Inventory (HBI), which includes four subscales: healthy habits nutrition (HHN), preventive behavior (PB), positive adjustments (PA), and healthy practices (HP) was used for this purpose. The results of the Student’s t-test indicates that female university students scored higher than males in the total HBI (p < .001), as well as in the HHN (p < .01) and HP (p < .05) subscales, with a small to medium effect size. However, the two-way ANOVA did not show significant differences between the genders and particular BA majors. Health prevention programs at universities and campuses should be focused on increasing healthy behaviors, particularly in male undergraduate students and those studying Physical Education, expected to model (healthy) lifestyles as future health educators.