Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief
What helps or hinders keeping fit among nursing and medical students? This is the subject of a UK study by Blake et al (2016) titled: 'Predictors of physical activity and barriers to exercise in nursing and medical students' and published in JAN. The aim of the study was: 'To investigate physical activity levels of nursing and medicine students, examine predictors of physical activity level and examine the most influential benefits and barriers to exercise.'
The study involved over 300 students - roughly equally divided between nursing and medical students who were surveyed over one year and asked about: 'physical activity level, benefits and barriers to exercise, social support, perceived stress and self-efficacy for exercise'. The results showed that: 'a significant proportion of healthcare students responding to our survey was not meeting recommended levels of physical activity required to benefit their health'. Older students were less likely to get enough physical activity. There was no difference between nursing and medical students in levels of physical activity. The authors conclude: 'Efforts should be made to promote physical activity in healthcare students to increase the proportion meeting the basic daily recommendation for the level of physical activity required to benefit health. This is important since healthcare professionals are often regarded as health role models for general society'.
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BLAKE H., STANULEWICZ N. & MCGILL F. (2016) Predictors of physical activity and barriers to exercise in nursing and medical students. Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.13181