Association between physical activity and perceived stress among college- and university students : A quantitative study from a public health science perspective

University essay from Mälardalens högskola/Akademin för hälsa, vård och välfärd

Abstract: Background: Physical activity and perceived stress affect college- and university students health.  Aim: The aim is to study the association between physical activity and perceived stress among college- and university students in Sweden, and to investigate whether gender, age, and BMI are confounding factors regarding the association between physical activity and perceived stress.   Method: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted among the study population students. The analytical approaches chosen were descriptive analysis, Pearson’s correlation coefficient, and multiple linear regression. Results: According to the correlation analysis, there was a small negative significant association between physical activity and perceived stress. According to the regression analysis, there was a small negative significant association between physical activity and perceived stress, which remained after considering gender, age, and BMI. Discussion: The association between high physical activity and low perceived stress can be explained by the protective impact physical activity has on health. Conclusions: There was an association between physical activity and perceived stress among college- and university students. The association between physical activity and perceived stress among college- and university students remained after controlling for gender, age, and BMI. 

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