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Sleep Trends and College Students: Does it Connect to Obesity?
College Student Journal
  • Bridget F. Melton, Georgia Southern University
  • Jody L. Langdon, Georgia Southern University
  • Tyler McDaniel, Georgia Southern University
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Purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate and compare local to national averages in college-aged students' sleep disturbances, as well as further investigate key demographics (obesity classification, gender, race, year in college) among sleep issues.

Methods: This study investigated 636 undergraduate students (333 males, 303 Females, "M" age = 20.12, range = 18-26 years old). These participants were recruited from 28 of the 146 physical activity courses at a Southeastern university. Researchers developed a short survey with sleep questions from the ACHA-NCHA, demographic questions, as well as anthropometric data (height, weight, waist circumference and bioelectrical impedance). A pilot study was administered first to ensure validity of the modified survey.

Results: Looking at the national averages and local averages, there were several categories that yielded large differences between groups. Additionally, ANOVA's revealed there were significant differences between BMI in males ("M" = 26.97, "SD" = 5.53) and females ("M" = 24.9, "SD" = 5.97) with F(1,633)=19.53, "p" < 0.001, as well as waist circumference F(1, 633) = 76.73, "p" < 0.001 with males having larger WC ("M" = 89.1, "SD" = 12.94) than females ("M" = 79.6, "SD" = 14.56). Finally, a significant relationship was found between gender and meeting physical activity recommendation requirements, ?[superscript 2] = 11.71, "p" = 0.001, and for sleep disturbances, ?[superscript 2] = 5.11, "p" = 0.05.

Conclusions: In conclusion, even without finding sleep disturbances as a factor that predicts overweight or obesity, the highlights future research endeavors that need to be taken in order to further investigate the relationship between sleep and obesity.

Citation Information
Bridget F. Melton, Jody L. Langdon and Tyler McDaniel. "Sleep Trends and College Students: Does it Connect to Obesity?" College Student Journal Vol. 47 Iss. 3 (2013) p. 429 - 436 ISSN: 0146-3934
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