Health-related predictors of self-perceived health in a student population: The importance of physical activity

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The main objective of the present study was to observe and describe the intercorrelations of a number of psychological and health-related variables with special emphasis put on the predictors of self-perception of health using stepwise linear regression analysis. Data were collected in conjunction with a research project of health risk behavior of the student population of Szeged, Hungary. The number of students participating in our sample was 980, the response rate was 70.5% (n=691). A self-administered questionnaire was used as a method of data collection. The findings suggest that psychological well-being plays a central role in determining self-perceived health. The regression analysis revealed that four health-related variables under study contributed significantly to the self-perception of health. These were the following: psychological well-being, physical activity behavior, acute illness episodes and the frequency of psychosomatic symptoms. While some differences were detected between the type and the number of contributing factors among the subgroups by sex and physical activity behavior (i.e., physical activity was far more influential among males and likewise among more active persons) psychological well-being proved to be the strongest predictor. Physical activity behavior correlated positively and the frequency of psychosomatic symptoms negatively with psychological well-being. Moreover the occurrence of harmful habits was positively related both to the frequency of symptoms and physical activity behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-137
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 9 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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