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      Athlete students lead a healthier life than their non-athlete peers: A cross-sectional study of health behaviors, depression, and perceived health status among university students


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          Some studies show that athlete students are more likely to engage in health-risk behaviors with negative health consequences, while others suggest that they lead a healthier life than their non-athlete peers. Given these inconsistent results, this study aims to compare health behaviors, depression, and perceived health status between athlete and non-athlete students, and explore the associations between health behaviors and health outcomes. An online questionnaire survey including Heath Habits Scale for five health-risk behaviors and five health-promoting behaviors, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and 5-point scale for perceived health status was conducted in Beijing Sports University in March 2021. Data from 372 athlete students and 252 non-athlete students aging from 18 to 22 were included in this study. Chi-squared tests and t-tests were used to determine differences between athlete and non-athlete samples, and logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the associations of health behaviors with depression and perceived health status. The significance level was p < 0.05. The results show that compared with non-athlete students, athlete students perform better in health habits (10.01 vs. 8.27), report lower proportion of depression (44.6% vs. 54.4%) and higher proportion of good health (77.2% vs. 55.6%). Health behaviors, such as getting adequate sleeping, participating in vigorous physical activity, overeating, and smoking, were significantly associated with health outcomes of athlete students. The findings may contribute to the better understanding of health behaviors in athlete students and warrant continued attention on mental health and health habits in this population.

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                Author and article information

                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                04 August 2022
                : 13
                [1] 1School of Sport Science, Beijing Sport University , Beijing, China
                [2] 2Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Sports and Physical Health, Beijing Sport University , Beijing, China
                [3] 3Peking University First Hospital , Beijing, China
                [4] 4School of Education, Beijing Sport University , Beijing, China
                [5] 5School of Sport Engineering, Beijing Sport University , Beijing, China
                [6] 6China National Institute for Food and Drug Control , Beijing, China
                Author notes

                Edited by: Beat Knechtle, University of Zurich, Switzerland

                Reviewed by: Sandro Legey, Universidade Veiga de Almeida, Brazil; Dalia El Khoury, University of Guelph, Canada

                *Correspondence: Zeting Liu, liuzeting@ 123456bsu.edu.cn

                These authors have contributed equally to this work and share first authorship

                This article was submitted to Health Psychology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

                Copyright © 2022 Zhou, Zhang, Han, Dai, Lou, Hou, Zhou, Liu and Zhang.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 4, Equations: 0, References: 39, Pages: 9, Words: 6284
                Funded by: Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, Beijing Sport University
                Award ID: 2021QN014
                Original Research

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                health behavior,depression,athlete student,university students,health status


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