Healthy lifestyle in children and adolescents and its association with subjective health complaints: Findings from 37 countries and regions from the HBSC study

Adilson Marques, Yolanda Demetriou, Riki Tesler, Élvio R. Gouveia, Miguel Peralta, Margarida Gaspar De Matos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: It is important to clearly understand the factors associated with subjective health complaints. The study aimed to investigate the relationship between subjective health complaints, several health behaviors, and a composite measure of healthy lifestyle. Methods: Data were from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) 2014 international database. Participants were 167,021 children and adolescents, aged 10-16 years, from 37 countries and regions. A composite score of healthy lifestyle was created using a combination of daily physical activity, daily consumption of fruit and vegetables, <2 hours spent daily in screen-based behaviors, no drinking, and no smoking. The subjective health complaints assessed were headaches, stomach aches, backache, dizziness, feeling low, irritability, nervousness, and sleep difficulties. Results: Those who engage in physical activity every day, spend less than two hours a day in screen-based behaviors, do not drink alcohol, and do not smoke tobacco presented a higher likelihood of not having subjective health complaints. A healthy lifestyle was significantly related to having less of all the subjective health complaints. Those with a healthy lifestyle were 50% (OR = 0.5, 95% CI: 0.5-0.6, p < 0.001) less likely to have multiple health complaints. Conclusions: Healthy behaviors and healthy lifestyles are related with less subjective health complaints and less multiple health complaints.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3292
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume16
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Behaviors
  • HBSC
  • Health
  • Lifestyle
  • School-aged children

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