Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Grades In College Directly Linked To Health-related Behaviors

Date:
October 22, 2008
Source:
University of Minnesota
Summary:
Lack of sleep, excessive television/computer screen time, stress, gambling, alcohol and tobacco use and other health-related issues are taking a toll on college students' academic performance.

Lack of sleep, excessive television/computer screen time, stress, gambling, alcohol and tobacco use and other health-related issues are taking a toll on college students' academic performance, according to a study released by the University of Minnesota Boynton Health Service.

Related Articles


"Our study shows that there is a direct link between college students' health and their academic achievement. This is the first time that anything like this has been published where Grade Point Average is linked to all these behaviors," said Dr. Ed Ehlinger, the director and chief health officer of the University of Minnesota Boynton Health Service.

Today's report, "Health and Academic Performance: Minnesota Undergraduate Students," is part of one of the most comprehensive studies of college students' health in the nation. About 24,000 students from 14 Minnesota colleges and universities were randomly selected to participate in this study and 9,931 completed the 2007 College Student Health Survey Report. The results only include undergraduate students from two-year and four-year institutions. All five University of Minnesota campuses were included in the survey.

In the results, 69.9 percent of college students reported they were stressed and 32.9 percent of those students said that stress was hurting their academic performance. In fact, the mean GPA for students saying stress impacted their academics was 3.12, compared with the 3.23 mean GPA for students who didn't believe it was affecting their academics. "While this may seem like a small difference in GPA, when you are looking at over 9,000 students the impact of this difference is huge," Ehlinger said.

Twenty percent of students reported that sleep difficulties impacted their academics. In fact, those students who reported getting fewer nights of adequate sleep had a mean GPA of 3.08 compared with a 3.27 mean GPA for those who do not report sleep deficiencies.

"The more days students get adequate sleep -- the better GPAs they attain," Ehlinger said. "There is a direct link between the two."

When it comes to excessive television and computer use (not including academic use), 30.4 percent of students surveyed reported excessive screen time. Thirteen percent of those with the issue reported that it impacted their studies; these students had a lower mean GPA of 3.04 compared with a mean GPA of 3.27 for those who said the problem did not impact them.

"Turning off the computer or TV and going to sleep is one of the best things our students can do to improve their grades," Ehlinger said.

Students who reported that they had smoked during the past 30 days had a 3.12 mean GPA compared with a 3.28 mean GPA for students who reported not smoking. The study revealed surprising information for students who even smoke infrequently.

"Even students who smoked once or twice in a month had lower GPAs than those who didn't smoke," Ehlinger said. "Using tobacco to calm down or 'to be social' is lowering students' grades."

Ehlinger hopes that this study's results will spur college students to change behavior and for colleges to pay more attention to the health of their students.

"We hope this information helps students make wise decisions," Ehlinger said. "If you're investing a lot of time and money in your education, do you really want to waste your investment on behaviors that interfere with your academic success?"

The report also includes information on mental health, health insurance, physical activity levels, financial issues, drug use, injury, sexual assault and alcohol use.

Members of the public, along with students and health officials, should pay attention to the results of this report, because the health of college students is important to society, Ehlinger said.

"College students are so important for our economic development -- the development of our society," Ehlinger said. "One way to protect that investment in our future is to help them stay healthy."

Along with the University of Minnesota's campuses, the survey included Alexandria Technical College; Anoka-Ramsey Community College; Lake Superior College; Minnesota State Community and Technical College; North Hennepin Community College; Northwest Technical College; Bemidji State University; Concordia College and Minnesota State University, Moorhead.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota. "Grades In College Directly Linked To Health-related Behaviors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081021120925.htm>.
University of Minnesota. (2008, October 22). Grades In College Directly Linked To Health-related Behaviors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081021120925.htm
University of Minnesota. "Grades In College Directly Linked To Health-related Behaviors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081021120925.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins