Lifestyle risk factors of students: a cluster analytical approach.

LJ Dodd, Y Al-Nakeeb, A Nevill, MJ Forshaw

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143 Citations (Scopus)


Unhealthy lifestyle behaviours have been identified as a problem amongst students. This present study investigated the prevalence and clustering of five lifestyle risk factors within a UK Higher Education (HE) institution during the period of April–May in 2008.

In a cross-sectional design, 410 students completed a ‘health and lifestyle’ survey. Data was collected on psychological stress, physical activity (PA), fruit and vegetable intake, binge drinking, smoking, and demographic factors.

Three subgroups emerged from the cluster analysis: ‘unhealthy/high risk’, ‘moderately healthy/moderate risk’ and ‘healthy/low risk’ group. The groups were cross-tabulated by demographics and the resulting clusters provided an insightful indication of how behaviours interact. Data on the whole sample revealed that the prevalence of three lifestyle risk factors were high; 70% did not meet the recommended guidelines of PA, 66% ate less than the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables per day, and 56% reported binge drinking at least once in a seven-day period. Psychological stress was also high amongst the sample, with females experiencing greater psychological stress than males.

Students' health lifestyles are of concern. The tendency for specific health lifestyle factors to aggregate in clusters has important implications for health promotion within this environment.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)73-77
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • Lifestyle
  • Clustering
  • Risk factors
  • Students' health
  • United Kingdom
  • Stress
  • Physical activity
  • Diet
  • Drinking behaviour
  • Smoking

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