Lifestyle Practice among Malaysian University Students


Background: It is well established that a healthy lifestyle is of benefit in the prevention of diseases such ascancer and promotion of well-being. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine lifestyle practice andassociated factors among university students in Malaysia. Materials and
Methods: A cross sectional study wasconducted over six months from November 2011 until May 2012 among the students from the Management andScience University. This study was approved by its ethical committee , the students being explained the objectiveand invited to participate. A consent form was signed by all study participants. Questionnaire was distributedrandomly to the students of the five faculties through their lecturers in different faculty. For univariate analysist-test and ANOVA test were performed. Multiple linear regression used for multivariate analysis using SPSS 13.0.
Results: A total number of 1100 students participated with a mean age of 22.1±2.21 (SD) years. The majoritywere 22 years or younger (56.3%), female (54%), Malay (61.5%), single (92.3%), with family monthly income≥5000 Ringgit Malaysia (41.2%). Regarding lifestyle, about were 31.6% smokers, 75.6% never drank alcoholand 53.7% never exercised. Multivariate analysis showed that age, sex, race, parent marital status, participantmarital status, type of faculty, living status, smoking status, exercise, residency, brushing teeth, fiber intake andavoid fatty food significantly influenced the practice of drinking alcohol among university students (p=0.006,p=0.042, p<0.001, p=0.003, p=0.002, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, p=0.003, p<0.001;respectively). It similarly showed that sex, race, parent marital status, participant marital status, monthlyfamily income, exercise, residency, brushing teeth and fiber intake significantly influenced the practice of sunprotection (p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, p=0.017, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001; respectively) andthat age, sex, parent marital status, participant marital status, type of faculty, living status, exercise, taking nonprescribedmedication, brushing the teeth, coffee consumption and fiber intake were significantly influencedthe practice of fruits consumption (p=0.008, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001,p=0.002, p<0.001, P<0.001; respectively).
Conclusions: This study showed a poor practice of healthy lifestyleamong university students. Therefore universities should emphasize a healthy lifestyle in all faculties as a requiredsubject. Socio-demographic characteristics significantly influenced practice and thus should be considered whenplanning preventive measures among university students. Frequent campaigns and educational seminars are tobe encouraged.