Relationship between body composition and level of physical activity among university students
Jordao Junior,Alceu Afonso
Introduction: the body composition and lifestyle of university students are influenced by behavioral, psychological, socioeconomic and cultural factors. Objective: to analyze body composition and its correlation with lifestyle in a sample of university students in the health area living at the Ribeirao Preto Campus of the University of São Paulo (USP). Methodology: a cross-sectional study was conducted on 501 students enrolled in USP courses of the Ribeirao Preto Campus. Weight and height were measured and body composition was determined by bioelectrical impedance. The short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was then applied. Results: The sample predominantly consisted of females (73.05%), with 26.95% males. The averages of age, weight, stature body mass index (BMI), total fat mass and fat-free mass were 20.4 ± 2.8 years, 63.0 ± 13.5 kg, 166.9 ± 9.0 cm, 22.4 ± 3.4 kg/m², 24.0 ± 7.5%, 45.3 ± 10.3 kg, respectively. Although almost 70% of the students were in the normal BMI range, 70.8% of them had high levels of fat mass. According to IPAQ, the individuals were classified as sedentary (10.2%), irregularly active (39.3%), active (42.1%), and very active (8.4%). Conclusions: Most of the university students studied were classified as being of normal weight according to the BMI, but the high levels of body fat mass detected should not be overlooked. In addition, even though most of the sample was considered to be active, according to the IPAQ, it can be seen that practically half the students (49.5%) were irregularly active or sedentary.