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LIFESTYLE AND ATTITUDES OF PHYSIOTHERAPY STUDENTS OF WARSAW MEDICAL UNIVERSITY TOWARDS MOTOR ACTIVITY WITH RESPECT TO HEALTH PROMOTION

D. Białoszewski1, K. Kasperska1, J. Gotlib2

1Medical University of Warsaw (POLAND)
2Medical University of Warsaw, Faculty of Health Science (POLAND)
Background:
Understanding of the essence of health and putting it in a proper place in the hierarchy of importance should play a fundamental role in everybody's life. Therefore, the development of appropriate health-related behaviour and attitudes, including lifestyle, is of such importance. However, in the process of education, it is developed with different efficiency and durability. A study of the quality of life of Physiotherapy students, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Warsaw Medical University (WMU), was conducted in order to assess this process among the students who, in the future, should become specialists in their profession as well as propagators of health seeking behaviour. The study aimed to assess whether the period of studying influences lifestyle and attitudes of prospective physiotherapists towards the motor activity understood as a crucial component of health promotion.

Materials and Methods:
The study enrolled 188 full-time Bachelor's and Master's degree Physiotherapy students of WMU and used an original questionnaire. The descriptive statistics was used in the result analysis.

Results:
The study demonstrated that the students' lifestyle is unsatisfactory. The length of studying worsened the results in the following areas: the sense of "very good" health (by 6%); feeling very happy with life "very often" (by 6% in women and 4% in men); and dissatisfaction with the chosen major (by 11%). The students still had difficulties in assessing their lifestyle with reference to health seeking behaviour (37%) and their alcohol consumption remained at the same level, accounting for 84% in both stages of studying. It is alarming that physical activity of the students has decreased, being more systematic at the first year and just occasional later on (increase by 21%). Recreational activity performed once a week has also decreased by 12%. Hygienic and fitness models of physical culture in student's lives have also deteriorated (by 21% and 10% respectively). On the other hand, the results in the areas such as the sense of being overwhelmed by studying and regular consumption of meals have improved (by 19% and 6% respectively), whereas the sense of being tired and smoking addiction have decreased (by 4%).

Conclusions:
1. There is a need to prevent undesirable choices of behaviour made by students by developing and implementing appropriate and more effective strategies to influence their health seeking attitudes.
2. A further, prospective study of health seeking attitudes of students, based on a holistic conception of health should be conducted.