Test Period Stress: Factor on Eating and Physical Activity in College of Nayarit Mexico
José Enrique Jiménez-Hernández and Gilberto Mercado-Mercado
Background: Academic stress (AS) is a little studied topic and even less related to the eating habits (EH) and physical activity (PA) of college students when they are on exams. The university stage implies a greater degree of challenges that trigger a series of AS due to the overload of tasks or projects, which condition not only school performance, but also the quality of life and nutritional status of the university population.
Objective: To analyze the relationship between stress and food consumption and physical activity in college students exposed in an academic testing period.
Methods: The method was a descriptive, prospective, quantitative and observational study. 144 volunteer college students of bachelor degree of Physiotherapy, Nutrition, Psychology, Gastronomy, Business Administration, Educational Sciences and Architecture. The preference index (PI) was the method used to measure the frequency of EH, and Academic Stress Questionnaire by PA.
Results: Physiotherapy and Nutrition students presented high levels of stress. Students in Nutrition and Physiotherapy had great physical and/or mental exhaustion, and little motivation to turn in projects and assignments. Consumption of alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and junk food increases during testing periods. The fruit consumption PI is moderated by students during the examination period. Most students of all bachelor's degrees prefer to be resting, sleeping, watching TV or being on their cell phones.
Conclusions: The stress causes changes in eating habits and physical activities to college students to meet their academic needs.