Nutr Res Pract.  2021 Jun;15(3):355-366. 10.4162/nrp.2021.15.3.355.

A comparison on health-related lifestyle, dietary habits, and depression by exercise frequency of college students

  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Myongji University, Yongin 17058, Korea


The study was performed to investigate health-related lifestyle, dietary habits, and depression according to exercise frequency to understand complex factors that affect effective health management. Thus, exercise frequency, health-related lifestyle, dietary habits, and depression were evaluated in college students in Seoul and Gyeonggi-do areas.
A survey was conducted on college students, aged 19–29, in Seoul and Gyeonggi-do areas from May 13 to May 31, 2020. A total of 594 questionnaires were collected and 566 (269 from males, 297 from females) were statistically analyzed, except 28 with incomplete responses. Collected data were analyzed using SPSS WIN 21.0 program.
The sex distribution of the 3 groups according to exercise frequency was significantly different; the ratio of males in over 3 times/week group was significantly higher than those in 1–2 times/week group and no-exercise group (P < 0.001). The height (P < 0.001), weight (P < 0.001), and body mass index (P < 0.05) were significantly higher in over 3 times/week group compared to no-exercise group. The ratio of subjects who answered ‘good’ or ‘very good’ for subjective health condition was significantly high in the order of ‘over 3 times/week’ group (59.1%), ‘1–2 times/week’ group (34.5%), and ‘no-exercise’ group (25.0%) (P < 0.001). The ratio for meal regularity was high as 56.6% in ‘over 3 times/week’ group and the ratio for irregular meals was significantly higher in ‘no-exercise’ group (67.2%) and ‘1–2 times/week’ group (54.9%) (P < 0.001). Among questions on dietary habits, ‘Eat meat, fish, egg or beans’ (P < 0.01) and ‘Eat fruit’ (P < 0.01) were significantly higher in ‘over 3 times/ week’ group compared to ‘no-exercise’ group. ‘Drink more than 2 liters of water’ (P < 0.001) was 0.70 in ‘over 3 times/week’ group, which was significantly higher than 0.54 in ‘1–2 times/ week’ group and 0.38 in ‘no-exercise’ group. Moderate depression and severe depression that need treatments were significantly lower in ‘over 3 times/week’ group (18.7%) compared to ‘1–2 times/week’ group (26.0%) and ‘no-exercise’ group (29.7%) (P < 0.05).
It is considered that combined intervention for exercise habits, proper dietary habits, and depression management is needed for effective health management.


Exercise; depression; dietary habits; students
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