A Theory-based Online Health Behaviour Intervention for new University Students: One-month Follow-up Data
1University of Sheffield
Background: The transition to university can be associated with a decrease in health-promoting behaviours (e.g., exercise) and an increase in health-risk behaviours (e.g., alcohol). An online intervention, combining self-affirmation, the theory of planned behaviour and implementation intentions, targeted fruit and vegetable intake, exercise, binge drinking and smoking during the transition to university. Methods: New students (N=2621) were randomly allocated to an online health-behaviour intervention (U@Uni: LifeGuide) or a measurement-only control condition one month before starting university. Participants were followed-up one month after starting university (N=1319). Findings: At one-month follow-up, participants in the intervention group reported eating more fruit and vegetables, F(1, 1280) = 4.19, p = .04, than participants in the control group. No significant differences were found between the two conditions on the other three health behaviours targeted in the intervention. Discussion: The findings suggest that a theory-based intervention targeting multiple health behaviours may have a modest impact on the health behaviours of students during their first month at university.