Young students’ lifestyle as a health risk factor during the COVID-19 pandemic under various anti-epidemic strategies

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A.I. Shpakou1, L.G. Klimatckaia2, Yu.Yu. Bocharova2, A.A. Dyachuk2, O.Yu. Shik3


1Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno, 22 Ozheshko Str., Grodno, 230023, Republic of Belarus
2Krasnoyarsk State Pedagogical University named after V.P. Astafiev, 89 Ady Lebedevoy Str., Krasnoyarsk, 660049, Russian Federation
3Krasnoyarsk State Medical University named after Professor V.F. Voino-Yasenetsky, 1 Partizana Zheleznyaka Str., Krasnoyarsk, 660022, Russian Federation


Various strategies have been implemented to prevent the COVID-19 spread both in Russia (self-isolation) and in Belarus (restrictive measures).

They can be considered an unordinary stress-inducing situation that involves drastic changes in a lifestyle.

Our research goal was to analyze students’ attitudes towards basic lifestyle components in both countries under various anti-epidemic strategies.

We interviewed 876 students from Krasnoyarsk who were self-isolated for 2.5 months and 1140 students from Grodno who did not face strict quarantine restrictions. We performed comparative assessment of changes in basic lifestyle components that occurred during the pandemic.
We established certain changes in subjective health self-assessment (more than a half of the students described it as bad), emotional state (subjective comfort index was between its acceptable level and a trend towards its deterioration). Acute deficiency of usual physical activity was mentioned by 35.4 % of the respondents from Krasnoyarsk and 29.5 % of their counterparts from Grodno (p < 0.01). Twenty-three point nine percent of the students from Grodno and 26.6 % form Krasnoyarsk gave up adhering to healthy sleep and nutrition regimes and this resulted in uncontrollable growth in body mass. The complex index of positive changes in a lifestyle, its maximum being seven scores, amounted to 4.15 ± 1.56 scores among the respondents in Krasnoyarsk against 4.46 ± 1.48 scores in the reference group (p < 0.01). Some respondents resorted to taking psychoactive substances in their search for subjective stability. Seven point seven percent of the students in Grodno and 4.8 % of their counterparts in Krasnoyarsk started smoking during that period; 28.9 % and 46.2 % of the respondents accordingly increased frequency and volumes of alcohol consumption (p < 0.01).

Therefore, the present study concentrated on analyzing specific attitudes towards lifestyles among students in two countries under various anti-epidemic strategies. The results provide significant information for both public healthcare organizations and educational establishments since they can be used as grounds for suggesting activities aimed at maintaining students’ wellbeing and providing wider opportunities for young people to pursue a healthy lifestyle.

lifestyle, physical health, mental health, students from universities in Russia, students from universities in Belarus, COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown, anti-epidemic strategies
Shpakou A.I., Klimatckaia L.G., Bocharova Yu.Yu., Dyachuk A.A., Shik O.Yu. Young students’ lifestyle as a health risk factor during the COVID-19 pandemic under various anti-epidemic strategies. Health Risk Analysis, 2022, no. 2, pp. 119–127. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2022.2.11.eng
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