Karolina Bogdanavičienė 1, Gerda Gudavičiūtė1, Silvija Valdonė Alšauskė1,2
1 Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania
2 Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Department of Family Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania
Introduction. Physical activity is one of the most effective ways to maintain physical and mental health. Appropriate mental activity and good academic achievement are especially important for students, thus it is significant to further investigate whether regular physical activity has a positive effect on students’ academic achievement.
Aim. To evaluate physical activity of medical students and to investigate the effect of physical activity on academic achievement of medical students.
Methods. We performed an anonymous survey on October 10-18th of 2018 in Lithuanian University of Health Sciences. The survey was presented to 300 LSMU medical students and 170 students have filled the questionnaire (response rate – 57%). Differences between the investigated groups were considered statistically significant when p<0,05. Statistical analysis of data was performed using software package „IBM SPSS Statistics 22”.
Results. 31.5% of students engage in regular physical activity, 25.0% of students state that they do not exercise. 27.1% engage in regular physical activity longer than one year. Most common types of sport among medical students are running, gym and individual exercises at home. 41.2% of study participants have noticed an improvement of their academic performance after they started engaging in regular physical activity. 50.0% of students have not observed any significant change of their academic results. However, comparison of academic achievement of physically active and non-active students disclosed a statistically significant difference between these two groups – students who engage in regular physical activity have a significantly (p<0.05) higher average of their grades than those students who do not exercise on regular basis.
Conclusion. One third of medical students engage in regular physical activity, others exercise rarely, irregularly or do not exercise at all. Students who engage in regular physical activity have a significantly (p<0.05) higher average of their grades than those students who do not exercise on regular basis.
Keywords: physical activity, academic achievements, students