Sports Participation Negatively Associated With Study Stress Among Undergraduate Students

  • K. Verkooijen
  • M. Baart de la Faille-Deutekom
  • R. Ramaker


Background: The purpose of this study was to test the association between participation in different types of activities (sports, social and study) and perceived study stress among undergraduate students. Methods: 4440 Dutch students (48% males, Mean age: 20.9 yrs) completed a cross-sectional survey on perceived study stress. Other measures included membership in sports, social, and study clubs, and time spent on these activities. Findings: 38% of the students reported to experience at times excessive study stress (45% of females and 31% of males). This percentage differed by being member of a sport club (Chi-square= 17.5, p<.001), but did not differ by membership of a social club (Chi-square= .41, p=.27) or study club (Chi-square= 1.71, p=.10). Log regression showed that, after correcting for sex and age, students who spent >3 h on sports per week were 0.70 times less likely to report excessive study stress compared to those who spent <1 h. Discussion: These cross-sectional findings show a negative association between sport participation and study stress. However, longitudinal research is needed to confirm whether sports acts as a protective factor against study stress.
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