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Health and Fitness Habits of UK University Students: Revealed

Health and Fitness Habits of UK University Students: Revealed

people in gym


Research has recently been conducted by youth media brand Student Beans looking at the health and fitness habits of University students across the whole of the UK, including motivations for exercising, and produces some interesting results.

Youth media website Student Beans has conducted extensive research into the exercise and fitness habits of 1, 259 University students across the United Kingdom, between May and June 2014.

The results of the research reveal that 85% of all students surveyed spend at least one hour per week exercising regularly, with just over one quarter (27%) doing between 3 and 4 hours of exercise, and just over one fifth (23%), doing more than five hours of exercise per week. The main motivation for the students surveyed stems from health and fitness benefits (45%), closely followed by the advantages of looking good (38%), rather than down to actual enjoyment of the exercise (17%).

Just over one half (54%) of those surveyed do not belong to a gym, compared to the remaining 46% who do. Of these 54%, the main reason for not belonging to a gym was due to it being too expensive. However, for those who do belong to a gym – whether it is a University gym or other – just over half (55%), have posted about exercise they had done on social media, and 27% had taken a selfie in the gym and shared the photo.

When asked about belonging to sports clubs and societies at University, only 30% were members, whereas 70% do not belong to any sports club or society at all. Of those who are part of a sports society, the most popular was dance, with one third (33%) of respondents being members, closely followed by netball (29%), and badminton (23%). The main motivation behind joining a sports team at university was to have fun (37%), closely followed by the desire to meet new people and have opportunities to socialise (23%). Just over three quarters (77%) of those surveyed stated they had attended a sports club night out, and just over one third (34%), had attended a sports initiation ceremony.

Respondents’ ideal celebrity gym partner wold be Jennifer Lawrence, closely followed by Beyoncé, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Hugh Jackman.

Technology plays a vital role in students’ ambitions to keep fit, with 30% using fitness and workout DVDs, 13% using fitness and workout games on a Wii console or Xbox, and one third (33%) using fitness apps. The most popular of these health and fitness apps used are My Fitness Pal, Nike+ and Map My Ride/ Walk/ Run/ Fitness.

Other ways students seek to keep fit are through the consumption of protein shakes (26%), dieting drinks, e.g. Slimfast (13%), and diet pills (10%).

All of the information conducted by Student Beans was then compiled into a University Fitness League Table of 2014. The University of Kent was placed third, with 47% of students doing more than five hours exercise per week. Liverpool John Moores University came out on top, with 63% of students doing more than five hours of exercise per week. Click to see the full results of the Student Beans University Fitness Table.

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