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2017 | 5 | 202-211
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Demographic factors and physical activity of female undergraduates

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Introduction:University years play an important role in building healthy lifestyle patterns and attitudes towards physical activity (PA) and sport. Regarding PA, female students are a riskier group than males. The environment can play an important role both as a barrier but also as support for PA. While researching PA in individual population groups, an ecological approach has to be taken into account. The aim of the research was to broaden knowledge about the underlying physical activity of female undergraduates in relation to selected demographic indicators, namely to urban and rural residence, its size in terms of population and the person's current place of residence during her studies. In monitoring PA, we focused on the frequency of sports activity, including exercise. Methods: The cohort of this cross-sectional study consisted of 1.630 female undergraduates from two universities in Eastern Slovakia. The research was carried out as part of the grant-aided VEGA Project No. 1/1343/12 "Selected risk factors of obesity and its prevention through physical activity" addressed by the Institute of Physical Education and Sport at P.J. Šafárik University (UPJŠ) in Košice. Data on frequency and regularity of doing sports, including exercise, during the previous half a year, the place of residence (city/country), population of residence, and the current place of residence during their studies were collected via a set of questions in a survey questionnaire designed for the purposes of the above research study. Data were processed using SPSS 23 software program. To find out the correlation between doing sport activities and selected demographic variables, the Spearman Chi quadrate test and the Cramer coefficient of association were used. Results: Female students of both universities demonstrated low levels of engagement with sport activity and exercise in terms of the frequency and regularity of its performance in a week over the previous half year. We found significant correlation between the frequency of the sports activity by the undergraduates and the place of their permanent residence, with a result favouring city dwellers against the countryside. Paradoxically, there is no significant correlation regarding the number of inhabitants at the place of residence, although we can observe a certain positive tendency in favor of agglomerations with a population of over 50,000. The factor of the current place of residence during university studies proved to be insignificant.

Physical description
  • University of P. J. Šafárik in Košice, Institute of Physical Education and Sport,
  • University of P. J. Šafárik in Košice, Institute of Physical Education and Sport
  • University of P. J. Šafárik in Košice, Faculty of Medicine
  • University of P. J. Šafárik in Košice, Institute of Physical Education and Sport
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