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Rev Salud Publica (Bogota). 2011 Oct;13(5):748-58.

[Physical activity and tobacco and alcohol use in a group of university students].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Departamento de Fisioterapia, Universidad de Pamplona, Colombia.



Determining the prevalence of physical activity, smoking and drinking alcohol in a group of university students studying in the social-health sciences' area.


A shortened version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used with a sample of 548 students from the social-health sciences area (431 females and 117 males, average 20 years old: 2.3 SD) and a survey about living habits for obtaining information related to drinking alcohol and smoking. The physical activity index, activity levels, percentage of smoking and drinking alcohol were all calculated. The Cramer's V coefficient was used for establishing an association between variables, the t-test for evaluating differences in physical activity regarding gender and the Brown Forsythe test concerning qualifications.


80 % of the students were classified as being regularly active. Significant differences were found between the Physical Activity Index, gender (p=0.0) and qualifications (p=0.038). Smoking prevalence was 33 % and drinking alcohol 58 %, no significant differences being found regarding gender. No significant associations were found between physical activity, smoking and drinking alcohol.


A high percentage of students regularly took part in physical activity. However, some of them did not reach the minimum parameters for obtaining health-related benefits. The percentage of students consuming alcohol and smoking was high. Programs must be implemented for promoting healthy habits in university students, specifically aimed at optimizing taking part in sports and preventing and reducing smoking and drinking alcohol.

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