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Do University or college Undergraduate Students Have Healthy Lifestyle British Language Essay

The aim of our research is to research the life-style of traditional age group university undergraduate students, to be able to discover the extent of the healthy lifestyles. To help expand specify the purpose of our research we developed the following research question and subsidiary questions:

Research Question

Do university undergraduate students live a wholesome lifestyle?

Subsidiary Questions

To what level do university undergraduate students meet the government standards regarding healthy standards of living?

How do healthy life-style vary between university undergraduate students living at home and in college student accommodation?

What are university undergraduate students views on healthy life styles?

We realise that within these questions there are some ambiguous terminology which have to be defined. To establish 'healthy standards of living' we will use the government specifications. The government expectations place large emphasis on the consumption of 5 helpings of fruit and veggies each day; therefore we will ask participants to list the meals and drink that they had on a 'typical day' and from this infer the quantity of fruit and vegetables they have each day (Food Standard Organization 2010). Additionally, federal standards recommend that people should exercise for 30 minutes 3-5 days per week (BBC Reports Health 2007), not smoke or give up smoking and stay within the alcohol consumption boundaries: women can drink 2-3 3 units per day and men can drink 3 to 4 4 (Food Standard Firm 2010). For the purpose of this research we will use the average of 3 units. We will use these four suggestions to analyse our results to be able to answer our first subsidiary question.

'Living at home' refers to students who've not moved abroad and live in a family home. 'Learner accommodation' identifies students who reside in catered or self catered university or college halls or a privately rented college student house or even.


From our three subsidiary questions we produced three hypotheses that are as follows:

Hypothesis 1: We anticipate that school undergraduate students living at home will live a healthier lifestyle than college or university undergraduate students living in college student accommodation in terms of food usage and alcohol consumption.

Hypothesis 2: We forecast that university or college undergraduate students living in pupil accommodation will live a wholesome lifestyle than university undergraduate students living at home in terms of exercise.

Hypothesis 3: We predict that university undergraduate students will not meet government standards regarding healthy lifestyles.

Data Collection Method

To collect our data about the healthy lifestyles of college or university undergraduate students we will use a questionnaire. As questionnaires are a versatile tool they can take a number of forms (Thomas 2009). Therefore, we can design a questionnaire to match the needs in our research question, allowing us to structure a questionnaire which will be suited to undergraduate students. As undergraduate students may be busy and have short amount of time to free to complete a questionnaire, we will ensure our questionnaire is short in length, taking no more than around 30 minutes to complete and mainly contain shut questions with pre-coded answers, enabling participants to answer quickly (Gilbert 2008). This use of sealed questions will be effective as they'll provide factual information which is mostly what we are seeking, and this will also make our examination and comparisons easier as members' responses can be easily entered into a computer (Gilbert 2008). Additionally, because of the nature of your research, our questionnaire aspires to accumulate information regarding 'how much' students do particular things, which may be problematic to evaluate. However, the use of pre-coded answers such as: standing scales, the Likert level, multiple selections and amounts, will be effective because they are more likely to make such questions better to answer (Gilbert 2008). We will likewise incorporate some open questions as some questions will require more discursive reactions. This may be advantageous as we can gain a deeper perception into certain aspects of students' lifestyles (Thomas 2009). However, as open questions allow participants to answer how they wish, this could make analysis difficult credited to issues with categorising responses and possible reactions being ambiguous (Gilbert 2008). Therefore, we will keep the utilization of open questions to a minimum; which in turn may reduce members' time spent concluding the questionnaire and our time analysing the replies. Further benefits of questionnaires are that people can survey a big quantity of undergraduate students quickly and cheaply, which is effective for all of us as we have financial and time constraints (Gilbert 2008).

However, a disadvantage of questionnaires is the fact that they often undergo a low response rate (Gilbert 2008). This could be a particular problem with our test being undergraduate students who, as recently advised, may have short amount of time to free to complete our questionnaire. However, we try to get over this by staying with nearly all participants while they complete our questionnaire. A further drawback could be through our predominate use of pre-coded answers. If we do not offer enough answer options this could bring about pigeon holing members into responding to in a certain way, that could produce unreliable replies. To overcome this, we try to combine 'not sure' and 'other' options into necessary questions if we feel more info is required to explain individuals reasoning behind their responses we will ask this below the question. Furthermore, we have to be familiar with 'prestige bias. ' Most individuals want to look good in the sight of the researcher therefore; participants may exaggerate or underestimate their replies (Thomas 2009). This can be a particular concern for our research as individuals may exaggerate how healthy their lifestyle is. Therefore, to possibly limit this problem we will ask individuals to list everything they ate and drank on the last 'typical day', somewhat than just requesting how many portions of fruit and vegetables that they had.


Our research test will contain 50 university or college undergraduate students of traditional learner age, 18-23 yrs. old. Our reasoning behind this age range is that people want to look at those students who are living independently for the first time, excluding the mature students for whom this may well not be the truth.

We will use a convenience test as our sampling method of course, if required we will also use a snow-ball test. Convenience sampling is a non-probability sample in which individuals are selected due to their convenient ease of access and proximity to the researcher (Castillo 2009). This will likely be advantageous to us as we have time and financial constraints. However, the downside to the is sampling bias. The individuals we select will mainly be our friends so are likely to talk about similar characteristics therefore; they may well not be representative of the complete undergraduate student people (Castillo 2009). We do however aim to seek just as much diversity as you can within individuals, as between your three administrators of the study we all have different links within university. For instance: with students on other programs, in other years and in various societies; which means this will help us to broaden our range of participant's university experience. A snowball sample is also a non-probability test which can be used to find potential individuals in a report where members are difficult to find (Castillo 2009). We will therefore utilize this sampling method if we are attempting to locate eager individuals, as this will permit us to identify potential participants through our existing individuals using a chain referral process (Castillo 2009).


Prior to your data collection we will complete an ethics form. To gain consent from participants we will incorporate a brief at the start of our questionnaire informing members of the nature of the research, who our company is and why our company is conducting the study, their to with-draw which their responses will stay anonymous and private.

Reliability and Validity

To ensure trustworthiness we have to know that people would be able to get similar results from participants on any day (Gilbert 2008). That is difficult for us even as we are looking at 'how much' students do particular things. Therefore, to ensure some stability we will ask members to answer certain questions predicated on a 'typical, average day', and out of this we will have to assume that the individuals' answer reflects a 'typical day' to them. A good example of this can be observed in our pilot analysis when a participant clarified that they had 'a large bowl of Frosties and orange drink' for breakfast time. Therefore, we would have to assume that this is a 'typical' each day breakfast for this participant.

In conditions of preserving validity we aim to ensure that of our questions are wholly centered on our research to make certain that we assess what we intend to assess (Gilbert 2008). Validity is actually a particular issue with this study, as matching to Gilbert (2008) when questioning participants on their alcohol intake there is a propensity to under-report their intake. As this is something we aim to evaluate we will ensure were mindful when phrasing our questions concerning attempt to reduce this problem.


We conducted a pilot questionnaire on folks of the same society that we try to study, to be able to find out whether our questions were clear and coded-answers were sufficient (Gilbert 2008). For example, due to the reviews we received from our pilot questionnaire we made changes to the pre-coded answers of questions 13 and 14. Individuals thought the 'yes', 'no' and 'don't know' answer options pigeon holed them into answering in a certain way; therefore we modified these to scales of 0-10.

(See appendix A and B for the pilot questionnaire and final questionnaire, where other changes are noticeable)

Findings and Discussion

(Tables that match the graphs are in Appendix C)

The above graphs show that for both students who live away at university or college and students who live at home, 20% consume five or more pieces of fruit and veggies each day. Therefore, based on the government criteria, these students are leading a wholesome life in conditions of their diet. Consequently, the majority, 80%, of both home and away students do not meet the government's specifications of 5 helpings of fruit and vegetables each day, and therefore would be categorised as bad in terms with their diet. Thus, these email address details are not consistent with this first hypothesis, that students living at home will lead a wholesome lifestyle in terms of food intake. However, it can support our third hypothesis that undergraduate students will not meet the federal government standards, and suggests that their host to residence will not have an effect on their diet in terms of fruits and vegetable usage.

However, there have been problems with the analysis of the responses to the question. As this was an available question this meant that members could answer the way they wish; and because of this some individuals provided minimal details so that it is difficult to deduce just how many portions of fruit and veggies participants had. For instance: some participants said they simply possessed pasta, yet others said that they had pasta and explained what that they had in this meal such as peppers, mushrooms. In such a case, we would experienced to say that the participant that just said 'pasta' didn't have any fruit or vegetables in this food. Because of this, some members were registered in the results as having consumed no fruits or vegetables each day and therefore the same for a week, yet it is improbable that this would be the case. Because of this question, we'd have benefited from performing interviews as a secondary form of data collection, so our results might have been more insightful and reliable.

The above graphs suggest that students who live at home are healthier than students who live away at college or university in conditions of alcohol intake. That is seen through 32% of home individuals consuming 0-3 products of alcohol each day compared to 8% of away members. Therefore, in line with the government benchmarks of consuming normally 3 units each day, more students who live at home would be categorised as healthy in conditions of alcohol intake. These findings confirm our first hypothesis, that students living at home will lead a healthier lifestyle in conditions of alcohol intake. Maybe it's recommended that the students' who live away at school show higher degrees of alcohol intake because they are closer to college or university and therefore, these are possibly closer to social events which may provide them with more opportunities to take alcohol.

(N. B: To measure the alcohol devices each participant consumed we used an alcohol unit calculator available at www. drinkaware. co. uk)

These graphs implies that generally both students living at home and living away at college or university do not smoke cigarettes, which suggests that students' host to residence doesn't have an effect on smoking. Therefore, students living at home and living away at college or university generally meet the authorities standard of not smoking so would be looked at to be healthy in relation to smoking, which would challenge our third hypothesis.

The above graphs claim that students living away at school are healthier than students living at home in conditions of time of exercise. 76% of students living away at college or university take part in 'up to 2 time' plus of exercise, in comparison to 52% of students living at home. Therefore, more students living away at college or university would be categorised as healthy, in terms of exercise, based on the authorities standard of 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times a week. This is certainly consistent with our second hypothesis, that students living away at school will lead a healthier lifestyle than those living at home in terms of exercise. It is possible that this is because of these students being closer to university and therefore, university or college facilities and clubs/societies are in simple gain access to, whereas students living at home would have to travel for such facilities.

The above graph shows that students who live away at university or college participate in a wider range of doing exercises activities than students who live at home. This finding links back to you to the finding in the last graphs as these highlighted that students living away at university do more exercise than students living at home. Therefore, a substantial trend is evident for the reason that students living away at university are healthier in conditions of exercise, as they participate in more exercise and are involved in a wider range of exercising activities in comparison to those who live at home. As explained with the previous graphs, this is possibly due to the ease of access these students have to school facilities/societies. This is reflected in the above mentioned graph as the involvement at college or university courts, fitness center and pool is higher or only employed by those students who live away at school.

This graph shows that both students living at home and living away at school are fairly regular in the view that it's important to have a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, this suggests that student's place of residence doesn't have a major effect on their views on healthy lifestyles. However, these results are inconsistent with the rest of your results shown above, as our studies generally show that both students living at home and away at university aren't healthy across every one of the four government expectations. This shows that, despite these undergraduate students thinking it is important to live a healthy lifestyle; in some recoverable format there is data to suggest that actually they don't live a completely healthy lifestyle.

This graph shows that both students living at home and away at university or college show the view they are not too young to be concerned with living a wholesome lifestyle. 64% of students living at home and 60% of students living away at college or university disagree with the declaration. Like the conclusions above, this shows that where students live does not have an effect on their views and highlights infrequency between undergraduate students' views and their activities regarding living healthily.

This graph shows that students living away at college or university are more positive about the effort the government puts into promoting healthy lifestyles. This is seen in the government effort being rated at 6 by 44% of students living away at university or college compared to 20% of students living at home. However, the rating of 6 is not so positive so implies that overall there is not a generally positive view of the federal government effort from these undergraduate students. This possibly features a dependence on improvement in the governments' promotion of healthy standards of living.

This graph implies that 64% of students living at home and 60% of students living away at college or university scored their lifestyle as being healthy on the size at 6 and above. One can extrapolate from this that over 50 percent of the students altogether think they live a healthy lifestyle. However, this shows an inconsistency between how these undergraduate students experience the healthy amount of their life styles and how healthy they seem on paper, as our studies generally suggest that our test of undergraduate students do not live a completely healthy lifestyle.


Overall, to summarise our conclusions, it can be suggested in reflection of our research question, our sample of undergraduate students usually do not live a healthy lifestyle. This can be seen in greater detail in reflection on our subsidiary questions. With reference to our first subsidiary question, our findings claim that our sample of undergraduate students only meet up with the government criteria regarding healthy lifestyles to a tiny extent. This is seen through our members tending never to meet all of the government standards. Our studies suggest there is a propensity for students who live away at school to participate in a lot of exercise, yet they rate highly on liquor consumption. For the students who live at home they tend to rate lower in terms of alcohol intake, yet they take part in fewer hours of exercise. Therefore, in light of your second subsidiary question, this shows that our test of undergraduate students change in their alcohol intake and time or exercise; yet tend to be similar in their usage of fruit and vegetables and smoking tendencies. In relation to our third subsidiary question, our results suggest that our test of undergraduate students discuss similar views relating to healthy life styles. However, interestingly their views usually do not reflect their actions. There is a tendency for our test to think that it's important to live a healthy lifestyle plus they believe that they live healthily, yet our findings suggest they do not live completely healthily.

Therefore, it can be seen our research successfully provided us with answers to your research question, subsidiary questions and hypotheses. However, when reflecting on our research it is apparent that we came across problems and that there surely is room for improvement if the study was to be conducted again.

As previously explained, we experienced problems relating to how participants' responded to our question regarding what drink and food they consumed on the 'typical day'. Therefore, to boost our research we're able to benefit from conducting interviews after the questionnaires, as this would enable us to probe for more details so that we would not be faced with the situation of individuals not being specific enough. Furthermore, using observation could also improve our research, as through this we're able to check the reliability of participants' reactions, especially as the nature of our matter could most probably to prestige bias and under-reporting. Another problem we encountered was that some members found the word 'typical night time out' ambiguous. For some participants this recommended a 'evening out at the pub' yet for others it recommended a 'evening out at a night club'; and consequently these different types of 'times out' affected the amount of alcohol they consumed. Therefore, if we were to carry out this research again, we'd need to ask members to specify the kind of night out that is 'typical' for the coffee lover or keep these things answer the question based on both contrasting types of 'nighttime out'. In addition to this, our use of convenience sampling intended that most our members were people we recognized, and as a result may have reflected similar characteristics. Thus, to boost our research it may be advantageous to use a stratified test and a more substantial sample size in order to improve our representation.

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