ISSN: 1734-4948
Advances in Rehabilitation
Current issue Archive Manuscripts accepted About the journal Editorial board Reviewers Abstracting and indexing Contact Instructions for authors Publication charge Ethical standards and procedures
Editorial System
Submit your Manuscript
SCImago Journal & Country Rank
vol. 37
Original article

Health behaviours and depressive symptoms in higher education Portuguese students

Bebiana Sabino
Vânia Loureiro
1, 2
Sara Pereira
Helena Ferreira-Barbosa

Department of Arts, Humanities and Sports, Polytechnic University of Beja, Portugal
ISAMB, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Advances in Rehabilitation, 2023, 37(4), 20–28
Online publish date: 2023/11/22
View full text Get citation
PlumX metrics:
The transition to higher education and the permanence in this study cycle has implications in the students' health behaviours. They are faced with greater autonomy of choice but also with greater academic obligations that condition these behaviours. The purpose of this study is to determine which health behaviours differentiate higher education students with moderate to severe depressive symptoms from those with mild to low symptoms.

Material and methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted with 166 higher education Portuguese students (58.4% males). The health behaviours assessed were physical activity and sitting time through International PA Questionnaire - Short Form (IPAQ-SF), active choices through Active Choice Index Questionnaire, sports practice and sleeping time were assessed according to the National Dietary and Physical Activity Survey. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. Mann-Whitney test was used to access gender and depressive symptoms categories differences. Odds-Ratio was calculated to establish the probability of being classified with moderate to severe depressive symptoms.

24.1% students showed moderate to severe depressive symptoms. In an analysis by gender, it was found that girls spend less time sitting on average than boys (p < 0.001). Students with moderate to severe depressive symptoms show on average more sitting time (p = 0.018) and less sleep time during weekdays (p = 0.005).

Sitting time and sleep time are health behaviours that are associated with higher depressive symptoms in higher education students. Higher education institutions are considered to play a key role in promoting health behaviours that can interfere with students' mental health.


Exercise, Depression, Students, Sedentary Behavior, Sleep Duration

Quick links
© 2024 Termedia Sp. z o.o.
Developed by Bentus.