Lifestyle can be considered as the result of the behavioral patterns that the individual develops in the course of their life, which are determined by several factors, these being personal, socioeconomic and environmental characteristics and, consequently, have a profound effect in the health of individuals.
According to Rozmus et al., The period of entry into higher education represents an important phase of people’s lives, since many behaviors that have been acquired during life can be altered as a result of new friendships, attitudes and knowledge. When it comes to a college degree in Physical Education, lifestyle is one of those behaviors that can be altered by joining the university.
The lifestyle has been the subject of study of several researchers in the area of ​​health and psychology because it is one of the most important determinants of health of the population. However, in spite of all the information on the subject, behavioral research shows that among university students there is an increase in the rates and amount of habits considered at risk.
A large part of the specific scientific community argues that the identification of risk behaviors could contribute to the prevention – or postponement – of some diseases. However, according to Palma, Abreu e Cunha, the notion of risk behavior stimulates a more active individual involvement with prevention and imputs to one’s own responsibility for his illness. Thus, the option of acceptability of the risk, therefore, would imply to the own individual a condition of self-responsibility by the decision to soften it or, if possible, to eliminate it.
According to the authors, the notions of “risk behavior” or its antonyms coined pragmatically by the positivist sciences as “healthy lifestyle” fit into this context.
The literature presents several studies that reveal the lifestyle profile of academics from several courses in the classroom modality1,4,9, some of them specifically with Physical Education students10. The results reveal that this group of university students presents better levels of lifestyle, quality of life and physical activity when compared to academics from other areas, including health.
Therefore, what instigates the present study concerns the fact of knowing if the future teachers of Physical Education conduct their lifestyle through behaviors considered healthy, that match the knowledge acquired along the course and with the discourse they represent. Moreover, in our research, no study published in the scientific literature was concerned with describing the lifestyle of the graduates of a course in the modality from a distance.

In this context, knowing the factors related to the adequate lifestyle can subsidize the implementation of intervention policies and programs aimed at promoting the health of this particular population of university students, who, on the one hand, is the one that grows the most in Brazil, but in against departure, still lacking epidemiological and behavioral studies. Thus, the present research has the purpose of verifying the global classification of the lifestyle and the relation with the domains of the lifestyle in undergraduate students in Physical Education of the distance modality of a public university of the state of Paraná.
This is a cross-sectional descriptive cross-sectional study with a quantitative approach, in which the study population was composed of academics of both genders, regularly enrolled in the degree course in Physical Education at a distance from the State University of Ponta Grossa from the cities Apucarana, Bituruna, Congonhas, Cruzeiro do Oeste, Ibaiti, Lapa, Palmeira, Paranaguá and Siqueira Campos, all located in the interior of the state of Parana.
To determine the sample size, a stratified sampling technique with correction for finite populations was performed. For the sample calculation, the estimated value of the outcome studied – students with an adequate life style – was considered as 50% (p = 0.50). We also chose a 99% confidence level and an accuracy of 5 percentage points.
Thus, the number of individuals required to compose the sample was 213 university students. The selection of the sample was performed by the simple random method, through a draw of the students’ academic records.
Data collection took place at the end of June 2013 and two self-administered electronic questionnaires were carried out13. Each questionnaire had a description clarifying the questions, instructing the responding academics at each stage.
In the first questionnaire were demographic and socioeconomic variables: gender (male and female), age (<30 years, ≥ 30 years), weight (kilos), height (meters), marital status (single / divorced / widowed, (A, B, C, D or E) and level of schooling (incomplete degree, complete degree). The socioeconomic level was evaluated through the Brazilian Economic Classification Criterion, based on the survey of assets of consumption, schooling of the head of the family and the presence of a maid. Due to the need to distribute the variables in frequencies, it was decided to join classes “A” and “B” and denominate it “high” and the others, “low”. This distribution can be found in other studies12. It was also included the self-perception of health, which is considered a valid and relevant indicator of the health status of individuals and populations15. The response options were: Dissatisfied and Satisfied.

The second questionnaire, entitled “Fantastic Lifestyle”, translated and validated in Brazil by Añes, Reis and Petroski, 16 aimed to measure the main elements that characterize a healthy lifestyle. Developed in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University in Canada by Wilson and Ciliska, 17 the instrument is composed of 25 closed questions that explore nine domains: 1) family and friends; 2) physical activity; 3) nutrition; 4) cigarettes and drugs; 5) alcohol; 6) sleep, seat belts, stress and safe sex; 7) type of behavior; 8) introspection; 9) work.
The questions, answered self, consider the behavior of the individuals in the last month and the results allow to associate the lifestyle and the health. The sum of the scores of each domain is classified into five categories, but in the present study they were dichotomized, considering as “Adequate” the subjects of the categories “Excellent”, “Very good” and “Good”, and as “Inadequate” of the “Regular” and “Needs improvement” categories.
The statistical treatment was performed through the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 20. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used. To verify the normality of the data, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was performed, indicating that such data follow a normal distribution, thus allowing the evaluation through parametric statistics. A descriptive analysis of the study variables and the results expressed in frequency tables were made. Then, independence analyzes were performed between variables using the Chi-square test and Fischer’s exact test for heterogeneity and linear trend. All associations that presented p ≤ 0.05 in the analysis of independence between variables were considered significant.
Based on the ethical and methodological concerns discussed in the Guidelines and Norms Regulating Research Involving Human Beings (Resolution 466/2012), the present study had its research project sent to the Research Ethics Committee of the Ponta Grossa State University (COEP-UEPG ), being approved under the opinion nº 451.209 / 2013.
The identification of risk factors may mean, as far as possible, the circumstances or behaviors that may be giving the individual a greater likelihood of developing a particular condition of health impairment.
Therefore, presenting the main personal characteristics of the Physical Education academics interviewed who are correlated to obtaining an adequate lifestyle was the main fact of this research. The socialization,
balanced diet, sleep well, manage day-to-day stress, relax andA enjoy free time, control anger and tension and think positively and optimistically are some of the factors that may be contributing to the greater likelihood of an adequate lifestyle.
Moreover, the present study contributes to the identification of the lifestyle profile of the Brazilian university of distance education, which is little known due to the scarcity of studies with this population.
Regarding the limitations of the study, it should be emphasized that research based on self-administered questionnaires has limitations on the veracity of the answers, in this case, and there may be lower rates of reports of socially reprehensible behaviors.
It was noted that the knowledge acquired about healthy lifestyle during graduation alone is not a factor that guarantees the practice of certain healthy behaviors, mainly the regular practice of physical activity, since there was no direct relationship between this habit and the Lifestyle. These findings also show that there should be a continuous concern of higher education institutions that offer courses in distance learning to know the dimensions of the style and the quality of life of their students.
There should be greater concern about the future Physical Education teacher who is legitimated as a health professional, in view of his direct performance and unique responsibility in the educational process of children and adolescents. His contribution is not limited only to linking the contents of his area of ​​education, but transferring knowledge, sharing experiences and exemplifying human values. Therefore, this professional is expected to conduct leadership, having as a fundamental pillar the example