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Purpose:

College brings excitement, challenges, and new responsibilities.  Most college students lead active lives, have plenty of friends, and look forward to a future filled with opportunity; however, between juggling the responsibilities of school, an active social life, and work, many students just can’t seem to find the time to spend on their personal health. 

If you’re like most college students, you probably feel pretty good about your health right now, but each year thousands of students lose productive academic time to physical and emotional health problems – some of which can continue to plague them for life.  In fact, recent research by The University of Minnesota found that there is a direct link between students’ health and their GPAs.  Stress, lack of sleep, excessive television and computer use, smoking, and other health-related issues negatively impact academic achievement.

 

Goals and Objectives:

The changes that college brings can be very rewarding, but they can also be stressful. It can be hard to deal with the pressures related to alcohol use, sexual activity, and appearance while trying to keep up academically.  The decisions you make now, and the habits you develop over your lifetime will largely determine the length and quality of your life.  The goal of this module is to introduce you to the importance of a healthy lifestyle and to help you acquire the knowledge to assess and make necessary changes.

 

Upon completing the Health for College Students module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate your current health status
  • Incorporate more activity into your daily routine
  • Make healthier food choices
  • Develop strategies to stop smoking
  • Develop strategies to get more sleep
  • Protect yourself against STDs.

 

Getting Started

Before you can make improvements in lifestyle choices, you must first evaluate your current lifestyle status. Click on the image below and take the quiz to find out where you are now!

 

 

Increase Your Physical Activity

You don’t have to pay an expensive membership to a gym to get in more physical activity each day and make HUGE improvements in your health. Being active doesn’t just improve your physical health, but your mental health as well! Click below for information on how to fit more physical activity into your daily routine.

 

 

Get Smart About Your Food Choices

Let’s face it, college students aren’t known for eating a healthy diet.  In fact, only 27% of American adults eat at least 3 vegetables each day. The fact is, we need fruits and vegetables everyday to help prevent heart disease, stroke, Type II diabetes, and certain cancers.  Many think it’s too inconvenient or expensive to eat healthy.  With a little planning though, anyone can eat healthy.

 

Before you get started, click on the picture below to examine what you currently eat and get tips on how to create healthy meals.

 

 

 

For more information on how many fruits and veggies you need each day for optimal health, click the image below.

 

 

Click on the image below for a quick guide to getting more fruits and veggies!

 

 

Get Real About Smoking

If you smoke or are considering taking up the habit, watch this video to find out what even one cigarette can do to the body.

 

 

 

 

Cigarette smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in America.  When you smoke, you are inhaling more than 4,000 chemicals including benzene (found in paint stripper), acetone (nail polish remover), hydrogen cyanide (used in rat poison), and ammonia (found in household cleaners and the bleach in toilet bowl cleaners). 

 

Many college students feel pressure to smoke to fit in, or use cigarettes to ease stress or control weight.   

 

Click on the picture below to see more health effects of cigarette smoking:

 

For tips and resources to help you stop smoking, click on the image below:

 

 

If you smoke, click the image below to complete a questionnaire that will help determine the reasons why you smoke and give you tips to quit.

 

 

Make Sleep a Priority

All of us need 7-9 hours of sleep each night.  Unfortunately, college students are among the most sleep deprived population in America.  Students who don’t average enough sleep each night have lower GPAs than those who do.  Just reducing the amount of sleep you get in one night by as little as one and a half hours can decrease alertness the next by as much as 32% and impair your memory and the ability to concentrate.   It can also make you gain weight and increase your risk of Type II diabetes.

Learn more about the effects of sleep deprivation in the video below.

 

 

 

Now that you know why adequate sleep is important, click each of the images below to learn some strategies to help you get more sleep.

                

 

                                   

Protect Yourself from STDs

Before you begin this segment, evaluate your current behaviors and attitudes about STDs by taing the quiz below.

 

One in four college students have an STD, and many don’t even know it because often times STDs produce no symptoms. If you are female, this is particularly alarming since untreated STDs can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, a leading cause of infertility.  Watch the video below for more information on common STDs:

 

 

 

There are thousands of websites with information on STD’s, how to get tested, and treatments.  Click on each of the images below to go to just a few of these sites and explore.

 

                    

 

 

                

For additional information, visit the Center for Disease Control's website on STDs.

                                              

  

 

Build and Post Your Plan

Now that you’ve reviewed the information above, it’s time to create your Health Plan.  You’re going to post this Plan on efolio.

 

Step 1:  Access your eFolioWorldAccount at https://login.efolioworld.com/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fOwner%2fAdminUl.aspx&ui=mouse      

Step 2:  Create a New Content-Basic and call it “Health and College Students”

Step 3:  In the Basic Content box, briefly answer these questions:

  • How did you feel about your Lifestyle Evaluation results?
  • Which type of physical activities will you incorporate in your daily routine and why?
  • How did you feel about your current food choices results and the number of daily servings of fruits and vegetables recommended for you?  Were you surprised by your results?  Why or why not?
  • If you currently smoke, what did the “Why Do You Smoke” questionnaire reveal to you about your possible reasons for smoking? Which of the suggested strategies for quitting smoking will you implement and why?
  • Do you get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night?  If no, what activities are you doing in place of sleep? Which strategies will you implement to get more sleep?
  • How did you feel about your “current behavior and attitudes about STDs” results?  How can you improve in this area?
  • Which of the five modules do you feel need the most improvement to positively impact your overall health?  Why?

Step 4 Drag and drop your "HEALTH AND COLLEGE STUDENTS" Basic Content onto your GROWTH page.

References:

June 9, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081021120925.htm

Fahey, T.D., et al. 2009. Fit and Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness, 9th ed. New York: McGraw Hill.

Physical Activity Guidelines: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/index.html

Analyze My Plate: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/activities/index.html

Fruit and Vegetable Benefits:  www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/benefits/index.html

Quick Guide to Getting More Fruits and Vegetables:  http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/?page_id=1286

Every Cigarette is Doing You Damage Video:  http://youtu.be/OLvI96Ezh38

“PHA Gives Smokers 4,000 Reasons to Stop Smoking.” Public Health Agency.  6 October 2010

How to Quit Smoking: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking//index.htm

Sleep Deprivation and the College Student Video:  http://youtu.be/KSB_UPUwexU

Sleep Tips for College Students: http://counsel.wsu.edu/SleepTips

How To Sleep Better: http://helpguide.org/life/sleep_tips.htm

Be Smart. Be Well.  Std Video:  http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/videowindow.asp?f=809796&af=v

Sexual Health Tips For College Students: http://www.collegetips.com/college-health/sexual-health.php

10 Truly Shocking Stats on STDs and College Students: http://www.nursingschools.net/blog/2010/05/10-truly-shocking-stats-on-stds-and-college-students/

One in Four College Students Has an STD: http://media.www.smccollegian.com/media/storage/paper841/news/2007/03/13/News/One-In.Four.College.Students.Has.An.Std-2774339.shtml

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/default.htm

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: http://www.cdc.gov/std/infertility/default.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page last updated: January 2, 2012