The further students progress in their courses, the less sports they play. The survey, published this Thursday, September 15, suggests ways to improve two years after the Paris Olympics.
This is no surprise: the balance is bad. Enrollment in higher education is a tipping point for youth sports experience. And more than the third year. The health crisis did not help either: a sedentary lifestyle, distance learning and increased time in front of screens. “This reduction in physical activity is a significant risk factor for students for their mental, physical and social health.”Anestaps warns Timothée Brun, president of the national association of Staps students.
Faced with this observation, Anestaps and the National Observatory of Physical Activity and Sedentary Life (Onaps) are publishing a survey on physical activity and sports practice at the university this Thursday, September 15, 2022, with the support of the Ministry of Sports. . Both Staps (21%) responded to around 19,000 students, including students in health, literature, economics or art. More than a third are in first grade and six out of ten respondents are women. Two years before the Paris Olympics, the survey suggests concrete measures.
Redesigning campuses to make students more mobile
Today, 42% of students do physical activity or sports at least 5 times a week. Only 1 in 5 students (excluding Staps) play sports as part of their university experience. So, most of the students do sports outside the university.
“The development of free access infrastructure is a real problem in the democratization of sports”, assesses the report, which insists on the need to expand infrastructure access tables and prepare equipment for free access to campuses. Another obstacle: a lack of communication about university offers, according to one in three students.
The challenge is to integrate sports into students’ daily lives. About 70% travel by motorized vehicle, that is, excluding cycling or walking. 80% of them confirm that access to the campus is neither easy nor safe. That’s why it is “important”to promote and facilitate its use, according to the report “active mobility”, specifically working on accessibility by foot or bicycle. Another way mentioned is to set up mechanisms with local authorities to enable students to take advantage of tariff offers. In general, “The layout of the campuses needs to be revised to encourage students to move more”. The report recommends making intentional spaces to guide students who want to exercise or continue physical activity.
A student spends eight hours a day in front of a screen
Because more than 50% of students observe an increase in the time they spend on screens. For 34%, the experience of physical activity decreases. According to the results of the survey, students spend an average of 8 hours a day in front of the screen at the university. Terrible, when you know that sitting for an average of 7 hours a day significantly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. To avoid this threat, the report recommends integration “active breaks” For classes over 1h30.
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And more, to adapt the training. Because while Staps students average 15 hours of physical activity per week, others fall behind. Lack of time for 60% of students is partially responsible for the phenomenon. Health students are particularly concerned: three in ten see their course as such “brake” to sports training. Therefore, the authors of the survey recommend setting aside half a day dedicated to the students’ agenda.
Strengthen links between universities and territories
outside, “It is important to promote the practice of sport and raise awareness of its benefits”, – says the survey. The latter recommends putting this incentive “in the heart” university policy. And thus make the sports experience engaging.
For this, the survey recommends the creation of ad hoc locations in the model of Friperies Sport Planète, which offer sports equipment at low prices. Or creating events to build relationships around sports. Another way is to appoint a physical activity and health focal point within universities to emphasize links between local authorities, sports movements and students. Finally, the focus is on supporting students with disabilities, 20% of whom believe that university offerings do not meet their expectations.