Health behaviors affecting academic performance among university students in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: KSU female students as an example

Alia Almoajel, Arwa Nasser Al-Zahrani, Malak Saud Al-Otaibi


To determine whether there is an effect of healthy behaviours (diet, physical activity, sleep pattern and coping with stress strategies) on academic performance among King Saud University (KSU) female students who study in different academic fields.

A self-administered questionnaire was distributed among 14342 female students aged from 18-25 from different colleges fields, these colleges are Medical Colleges, Sciences Colleges and Humanities Colleges. We distributed the questionnaires through the students’ official emails and only 310 students who completed them.

The study results show, there was a very weak, positive monotonic correlation between GPA and family income (rs=0.105, n=310, p > 0.001) while, there was a very weak, negative monotonic correlation between GPA and the number of family members, marital status, and with whom they live (p < 0.001). Regarding the health behaviours; Physical activity seems to be related to academic performance among students of sciences colleges (X2=174.34, and p < 0.001) while, sleep pattern and stress are related to academic performance for medical students, (X2=297.470, X2=120.7 respectively and p < 0.001).

The medical students are the most affected group by the health behaviours where sleep pattern and cope with stress are found to be the most health behaviours affecting their academic performance.
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