Physical activity of future health care professionals: adherence to current recommendations
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Medical University of Lodz, Łódź, Poland (Department of Sports Medicine)
Medical University of Lodz, Łódź, Poland (Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Department)
Medical University of Lodz, Łódź, Poland (Department of Psychosocial Rehabilitation)
Online publication date: 2020-07-09
Corresponding author
Anna Lipert   

Medical University of Lodz, Department of Sports Medicine, Pomorska 251, 92-213 Łódź, Poland
Med Pr Work Health Saf. 2020;71(5):539–549
Background: When assessing physical activity (PA), particular attention should be paid to medical university students who are taught to be health care professionals (HCPs) responsible for maintaining health in humans. However, different studies have shown that HCPs exhibit the same unhealthy behaviors as the general population. This study analyzed PA among medical university students of different faculties and their adherence to current PA recommendations. Material and Methods: Data from 216 medical university students of physiotherapy, dietetics and pharmacy, including males (N = 44) and females (N = 172), the mean age of 22.3±1.8 years, were collected. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire in its long form (IPAQ-LF) was used to assess and classify PA behaviors. The results were analyzed in accordance with World Health Organization recommendations regarding PA. Results: Over 60% of all the students were classified as active during all-day activity. However, while analyzing PA in different domains, the same shares of all the students were still insufficiently active during leisure time, and so they did not meet the recommendation of >75 min/week of vigorous PA, >150 min/week of moderate PA or an equivalent combination. All the students self-reported PA mainly in the work and transport domains. Generally, physiotherapy students were the most active and performed PA with higher intensity. Conclusions: This study revealed a low level of leisure time PA among the students, and no habit of regular PA. Some changes in medical education should be suggested to include physical education as a long-term subject in medical school curricula. Future research is needed to investigate the exercise barriers that students perceive, which can guide future interventions aimed at improving their PA, and thereby impact on the quality of health care which they will provide. Med Pr. 2020;71(5):539–49