Healthy lifestyle, which means healthy physical and mental health, may be one of the treasures that everyone is chasing. AIA Singapore today announced findings of the AIA Healthy Living Index Survey which show that almost all Singaporeans agree healthy living is important. However, citizens living in the modern society may not lead a healthy lifestyle, because people might be stuck with heavy work and pressure. The poor eating diet, sedentary habit and lack of rest directly result in the unhealthy condition. Seriously, the unhealthy lifestyle may cause disease and mortality. Understanding healthy lifestyle is urgent.
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What is healthy lifestyle?
Healthy lifestyle is the way of living which keep man’s health in a good condition. A healthy lifestyle always consists of a good diet, adequate exercise and sufficient quality rest.
1. A good diet
Eating healthily does not mean to intake strict amount nutrition every day, to stay unrealistically thin, or to separate you from favorite food. A good diet consists of healthy drinking diet and eating diet. A health corporation called Mayo Clinic (2012) said the adequate water intake for a healthy man is roughly 2.2 liters per day which is far more than 7 bottles. Water can be carrier of the chemical materials in our bodies. If you do not intake enough water, your body will not carry out the particular functions and easily result in tiredness. According to Pandalache (2012) healthy eating is having food feeling great, having more energy, stabilizing your mood, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible.
2. Adequate exercise
Exercise can be an important and functional tool ranging from releasing stress and depression to preventing disease and strengthening bodies. Healthy exercise habit means proper amount and time. Research news from Roberts (2010) suggests that “15 minutes exercise a day can boost life expectancy by three years and cut death risk by 14%.” Heavy exercise may not benefit your body. According to research (Bumgardner, 2012) on lung function, body rhythms, temperature, and hormone levels, the best time to exercise is around 6 pm. If you can keep a normal exercise habit every day, healthy body is not far away.
3. Sufficient quality rest.
Chasing health lifestyle, healthy sleeping is one of the most essential factors. Generally speaking, sleeping is a process for our nerve and body to recover. According to an article (Smith, Robinson& Segal, 2012), keeping a regular sleep schedule and eating right and getting exercise can easily give you a high quality sleep. Adults should sleep at least 6 hours a day to keep body getting enough rest.
Keeping healthy needs lots of knowledge. Are the people educated well healthier? We carry out a research to find the lifestyle of undergraduates at National University of Singapore (NUS).
The interviewers were divided into 6 groups which were in charge of different faculties. Each group went to a particular faculty and selected respondents randomly. Respondents included 103 undergraduate-student volunteers, some of whom are attending the exchange courses in NUS. Initially, the participants were requested to complete a questionnaire (appendix 1). Afterwards, they were interviewed a few questions; and finally all the data were collected together and analyzed.
Here is the information of respondents?s
And the relevant questionnaire is attached in the Appendix 1.
3. Results and Discussion
The purpose of this research is to find how healthy NUS undergraduates are. As a healthy lifestyle is determined by dietary habits, exercise routines and rest patterns, the report will introduce the results in three parts.
3.1 Dietary habits
Our data about drinking water are as follow:
Figure 3.1.1 How many bottles of water do you drink every day? (250ml per bottle)
Figure 3.1.2 how often do you eat breakfast?
Figure 3.1.1 shows the response to the question “How many bottles of water do you drink every day? (250ml per bottle)” As we can see, only 9.71% of the respondents said that they drank more than 7 bottles. In contrast, 90.29% said less than 7 bottles. This latter finding (percentage) is alarming; especially nearly half chose less than 4 bottles. According to Mayo Clinic (2012), the adequate water intake for a healthy man is roughly 2.2 liters per day which is far more than 7 bottles. Water is the base of life, and it can be carrier of the chemical materials in our bodies. Additionally, when you do not intake enough water, your body will not carry out the particular functions and easily result in tiredness. Hence, there are needy to be better persuading undergraduates to drink more water.
The table 3.1.2 shows the results of the question “How often do you eat breakfast?” The column on the very left indicates that 9 out of 103 interviewers never eat breakfast. In contrast, the very right column shows that nearly 37% respondents have breakfast very regularly. It can be seen from the column that most respondents chose the medium extent. University undergraduates might often surrounded by various tasks, ranging from presentation to research report. The heavy assignments may contribute to the irregular breakfast. Particularly, maybe the engineer students are blessed with the heaviest work, fewest engineer undergraduates have breakfast regularly. In addition, breakfast provided the energy for the whole morning; hence, undergraduates need to consume breakfast more regularly.
3.2 Exercise routines
Our data about exercise time are as follow in figure 3.2.1
Figure 3.2.1 what time do you often exercise?
Figure 3.2.2 how often do you exercise every week?
The subject of this table Figure 3.2.1 is the time when do the graduates exercise mostly. And Figure 3.2.2 shows the response of the frequency of exercise. As we can see, around 45.63% of the respondents exercise at 3:00-9:00pm. However, there still exists several students chose morning or late at night. Also the gram shows 51.46% of the interviewees said they exercise once a week or less than that. It can be seen in general, NUS undergraduates exercise between 3:00 pm to 9:00, as the arrangement of the lectures may contribute to this. Probably because the compulsory courses may usually arranged in the morning or at noon, and the respondents may be free in the evening. Luckily, this might be one of the causes of graduates’ healthy exercise habit, as according to scientific research, doing exercise in this period may benefit most of people. However, the frequency may be alarming, as according to BBC news (Roberts, 2010), exercise 15 minutes every day is minimum for health. Again, the heavy school work may contribute to this frustrating frequency. To conclude, there is a need for NUS undergraduates to exercise more.
3.3 Sleep patterns
Our data about sleep are as follow:
Figure 3.3 do you often wake up during the night? If yes, how many times do you wake up from sleep on average?
From figure 3.3, we can see that the data are presented in descending order, with the highest number listed at the very left column and the lowest number listed at the very right column. More than 65% respondents never woke up and the rest mainly chose woke up 1-2 times. These findings is extremely satisfying, especially most undergraduates never woke up which means high sleeping quality. Again, the heavy work may contribute to the high sleeping quality, as NUS students generally sleep late with tired body and easily to fall asleep. Scientifically (Smith, Robinson& Segal, 2012), almost everyone wakes up at night, but few can remember later unless people with mental disease. Hence, the NUS undergraduates sleeping quality is extreme high.
In conclusion, the results of this study provide some amazing insights into the healthy lifestyle of NUS undergraduate students, including the diet, exercise and sleeping. Contrary to what we predicted, the undergraduates may not be so healthy. Though the academic work is important, heath is much more essential. On the other hand, if one is taking a long test or working long hours at a tedious task that requires strong body, one may be break down without healthy body. The mixed results of this study suggest that undergraduates should concentrate more on their health.
AIA. (2011). Despite low Healthy Living Index score, Singaporeans’ desire remains strong for a better quality of life for themselves and their families AIA Healthy Living Index survey also shows Singaporeans believe companies should play a bigger role in helping their employees lead healthier lives Retrieved November 13, 2012, from http://www.aia.com.sg/en/resources/cf07bb004afd24878492d4fe179089c3/AIA_healthy_living_index_survey_findings_sg.pdf
Mayo Clinic. (2012). Water: How much should you drink every day? Retrieved November 13, 2012, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283
Pandalache, A.(2012). HEALTHY EATING – WHAT IS IT? Retrieved November 13, 2012, from http://collegetimes.ie/healthy-eating-what-is-it/
Roberts, M. (2011). 15-minute daily exercise is ‘bare minimum for health’. Retrieved November 13, 2012, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14526853
Bumgardner, W. (2012). The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise. Retrieved November 13, 2012, from http://walking.about.com/cs/beginners/a/besttime.htm
Smith, M., Robinson, L.& Segal, R. (2012). How to Sleep Better TIPS FOR GETTING A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP. Retrieved November 13, 2012, from http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleep_tips.htm
The interview questionnaire
Survey on Lifestyle of NUS Undergraduates
We are pre-matriculation students in the SM2 program (NUS) doing our research project as partial fulfillment of our English module. The objective of the survey is to gather information on the lifestyles of NUS undergraduates.
(Please circle the correct options)
Faculty: __________________ Gender: M / F
Nationality: Singaporean / Others __________________ Race: Chinese/Malay/Indian/others _____________
Year: 1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th
How long do your meals usually last? (tick the appropriate box)
Less than 20 min
20 to 40 min
40 to 60 min
More than 60 min
How much water do you drink every day? (assume a bottle = 250 ml)
Less than 4 bottles
4 to 7 bottles
More than 7 bottles
Do you eat the following meals every day? (you may circle as many as apply)
between breakfast and lunch
Food taken late at night
Are you regular in eating your breakfast?
Never eat it 1 2 3 4 5 Very regular
Mostly, what time do you exercise in a day?
Others. When is it?____________
How long do you exercise each time on average?
Less than 15 minutes
More than 90 minutes
How many times do you do sports every week?
A. 0 ~ 1 time
B. 2 ~ 4 times
C. 5 ~ 7 times
D. More than 7 times
Which group of sports do you prefer? Group A: Walking, Jogging, Skating, Swimming, Cycling, Taiji, Body Mechanics; Group B: Racing, Weightlifting, Muscle Training, Long Jump & High Jump, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis, almost all kinds of oppositional movements
Greatly prefer Group A
Greatly Prefer Group B
How much of your day do you spend sitting? <1hr / 1hr / 2hrs / 3hrs / 4hrs / 5hrs / 6hrs+>
11. Do you often wake up during the night? If yes, how many times do you wake up from sleep on average?
A. I never wake up during the night.
B. Wake up 1-2 times.
C. Wake up 3-4 times.
D. More than 4 times.
How much time do you need to fall asleep?
A. less than 7 minutes
B. 7 -30 minutes
C. 30-60 minutes
D. more than an hour
13. Do you play with computer or your cellphone in bed before sleeping?
B. very often but not everyday
D. seldom or never
Thank you very much for your participation!