An Exploration of Modifiable Health Associated Risk Factors Within a Cohort of Undergraduate Nursing Students

Abstract

So-called diseases of affluence, otherwise known as 'lifestyle diseases', are attributed to modifiable risk factors that are influenced by lifestyle and personal behaviour. Leading by example is an important way for public health principles to be communicated. In the university context, students of nursing can become aware of the challenge to integrate and apply health principles in their own life so that they become responsible health leaders in the community.

The aim of this study was to explore the incidence of a number of behaviour-associated health risk factors within a group of undergraduate nursing students. Ninety-four students participated in the study. Seventy-seven students (82%) reported the presence of at least one modifiable health risk factor. Forty-four percent of respondents were either overweight or obese.

Further research to explore whether a health promoting curriculum encourages nursing students to internalise/apply health knowledge to their own lives is recommended. A campaign of public health might be useful within the university community to educate students about risk factors and healthy living.

Authors

Christine Purcell
Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University, Logan Campus, Meadowbrook QLD

Wendy Moyle
Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation, Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast QLD

Katie Evans
Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Nathan QLD

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Keywords

risk factors, obesity, body mass index, health behaviours, lifestyle diseases

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