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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-27

Investigation of the effects of sporting activities on educational life of students in the Faculty of Dentistry, Atatürk University, Erzurum, Turkey


Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Atatürk University, Erzurum, Turkey

Date of Submission15-Jun-2019
Date of Decision15-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance17-Apr-2020
Date of Web Publication16-May-2020

Correspondence Address:
Alper Ozdogan
Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Atatürk University, Erzurum
Turkey
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DOI: 10.4103/sjsm.sjsm_8_19

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  Abstract 


Background: The effects of sports activities on educational life of students in the Faculty of Dentistry, Atatürk University, Erzurum, Turkey, was aimed in this study.
Materials and Methods: A questionnaire that contains 16 questions was applied to totally 100 dental students (Atatürk University, Erzurum, Turkey) who were joined the sports activities. The questions were included in age, sex, student type, ports-related interests, part-time work (number of hours per week), leisure activities, and Likert scale questions about to focused on investigating stress levels. The data were analyzed with descriptive, crosstabs, Chi-square, and independent sample t-tests and Spearman's correlation test.
Results: The results showed that there was no statistically significant association between any of the variables and stress levels (P > 0.05). However, the mean values and distributions of the variables vary and give numerical results.
Conclusion: Although sporting activities do not adversely affect students' lessons, they help to reduce stress levels.

Keywords: Dental students, education, sporting activities, stress level


How to cite this article:
Ozdogan A, Sancaktar O. Investigation of the effects of sporting activities on educational life of students in the Faculty of Dentistry, Atatürk University, Erzurum, Turkey. Saudi J Sports Med 2019;19:21-7

How to cite this URL:
Ozdogan A, Sancaktar O. Investigation of the effects of sporting activities on educational life of students in the Faculty of Dentistry, Atatürk University, Erzurum, Turkey. Saudi J Sports Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Nov 27];19:21-7. Available from: https://www.sjosm.org/text.asp?2019/19/1/21/284311








  Introduction Top


University life is a time during which many young people experience different experiences and challenges. During this period, students not only develop in educationally but also socially (i.e., social identity). While attending university, many students are separated from their families and may be living in strange cities.[1] They may also be exposed to new cultures and social environments, all of which may make their educational lives difficult.[1]

The Faculty of Dentistry provides practical- and theory-based training for 5 years. During this period, students are required to develop skills in preclinical and clinical applications, as well as manage an intensive theory-based course load. Worldwide, dentistry training is recognized as a stressful educational environment.[2],[3],[4] As the intensity of education increases, dentistry students' stress levels increase accordingly, as shown by a number of studies.[5],[6],[7] Studies also demonstrated that dentistry students were more anxious[8] and more prone to depression and obsessive disorders than university students from other disciplines.[9],[10]

Leisure activities can help to reduce stress levels among students. Engaging in such activities in their spare time can lead to a reduction in stress and an improvement in the social and psychological well-being of students.[11] At the same time, stress-coping skills gained during university years can contribute positively to their professional lives.[12] Leisure time at university can encompass cultural, artistic, and sporting activities. Most students in the Faculty of Dentistry in Atatürk University, Erzurum, Turkey, favor sporting activities over cultural and artistic pursuits and are involved in different sportive and cultural clubs. Involvement in sporting events, as well as helping to combat education-related stress, can contribute to their physical development.

The aim of this study was to determine the proportion of students who participated in sporting activities in the Faculty of Dentistry and to investigate the effects of sporting activities on the educational lives of the students. The first hypothesis of the study was that involvement in sporting activities would affect the students' dental education and that variables, such as number of hours spent on sports activities, age, sex, and study year, would have a positive effect on students' stress levels. The second hypothesis was that an increase in the study years of students would have a negative effect on the level of stress.


  Materials and Methods Top


The protocol of this study was reviewed by the Ethics Committee of Faculty of Dentistry, Atatürk University, Erzurum, Turkey (20.03.2019/31). All student participants in this study were informed of the purpose and procedures of the study and an informed written consent was obtained from each participants.

This study was conducted during the 2018–2019 academic year in the Faculty of Dentistry, Atatürk University (Erzurum, Turkey) and comprised 100 dentistry students who participated in sports activities. Students who were not active, graduate students, and students who were professionally engaged in sports were excluded from the study.

All the participants completed a questionnaire, which consisted of 16 questions. The same researcher recruited the students, implemented the survey, and collected the completed questionnaires. The first three questions related to the age, sex, and student type (i.e., 1st year, 2nd year etc.). The next three questions consisted of their sports-related interests, interested year (number of year), and leisure activities (number of hours per week). The next five questions were prepared according to a Likert scale and aimed to shed light on the potential effects of the students' sports activities on their performance in theory-and practical-based (clinical and preclinical) studies. The five questions in the last part of the questionnaire consisted of three questions on sports-related injuries and two questions on the perceived role of sporting activities in the students' future career [Appendix 1: Questionnaire Form].

Statistical analysis

The SPSS version 20.0 program (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) was used to evaluate the data. Descriptive statistics were used to determine the general distribution of the population and the incidences for the sex, age, interest, sports, year, and weekly duration. Crosstabs, Chi-square, and independent sample t-tests were used to determine the potential effect of variables, such as sex, type of sports activity, number of hours spent on sports-related activities each week, and student year, on the stress levels of students. The significance of potential correlations was compared using Spearman's correlation test.


  Results Top


The distribution of the responses of the study population to questions 1–3, 5, 6 is shown in [Table 1]. The responses of the question 4 (sports-related interests) is shown in [Figure 1]. The distribution of the responses of the study population to questions 7–16 is shown in [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4].
Table 1: The ratio of the responses of the Q1-3, 5, 6

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Figure 1: The responses of the question 4

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Table 2: The ratio of the responses of the Q7-11

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Table 3: The ratio of the responses of the Q12-14

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Table 4: The ratio of the responses of the Q15, 16

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The variables and survey questions were evaluated using crosstabs and Chi-square tests. There was no statistically significant association between any of the variables (student age, sex, period of education, type of sports activity, and number of hours per week spent on sporting activity) and stress levels (P > 0.05). The correlations were not significant because of the significance level (P > 0.05). In addition, questions 7, 8, and 9 were included under the negative effect questions; 10th and 11th questions were included under the positive effect questions and then analyzed. Every answers of questions (a–e) which were combined under the “negative effect of success” (Q7–Q9) was scored between 1 and 5 points. There was shown answer of question is between a minimum of 3 points and a maximum of 15 points, and the mean score of the population was 15 points (11.25 ± 2.44). The high average score of the students showed that students think that sporting activities do not adversely affect their academic achievements. The distribution of this problem (Q7–Q9) by sex was examined using an independent samples t-test. The mean value for females was 11.43 ± 2.14, and the mean value for males was 11.19 ± 2.53, and there was no statistically significant difference between sexes (P > 0.05). Every answers of questions (a–e) which were combined under the “positive effect of success” (Q10–Q11) was scored same way and the mean average was found 3.94 ± 1.85. The low average score of the students showed that the students considered that sporting activities helped to reduce course-related stress. The distribution of this question by sex was also examined using an independent samples t-test. The mean value for females was 3.60 ± 1.43, and the mean value for males was 4.03 ± 1.95, and the difference between them was not statistically significant (P > 0.05).


  Discussion Top


The aim of this survey was to investigate the effects of sporting activities on the success level and stress levels on dentistry students attending Atatürk University, Erzurum, Turkey. The results revealed no significant difference between the effect of sporting activities and variables. As there was no relationship between the increase in the study years and the level of success and stress, the initial hypothesis was rejected. However, our other hypothesis was accepted because sporting activities contributed positively to the students' success and stress levels.

Stress has a major negative effect on daily life, with stress having a particularly important influence on youths, especially students. In response to an increase in stress levels, a student's performance may decrease, and continued stress may give rise to various physical and psychological problems.[13] Students of the Faculty of Dentistry take part in 5 years of practical-and theory-based training. In the early years, theory constitutes a large part of their education, and theory is replaced by practice in subsequent rears. By the end of the final year of their education, clinical studies account for the largest part of their training, with little focus on theory Dentistry students may experience stress throughout their course, irrespective of whether theory or clinical based.[14] However, previous research showed that intensive clinical practice was a more frequent cause of stress than theory-based work.[15]

Regular exercise, meditation, and relaxation, in addition to various coping strategies, can ameliorate stress.[16] Physical activity and sports also contribute to both personal development and socialization of individuals.[17] Outside of lectures and clinics, in addition to sports, students of the Faculty of Dentistry can participate in nonsports-related activities, such as spending time in cafes and entertainment venues and participating in cinema-theater performances and musicals. Dentistry students at the university have access to a wide range of sporting activities. Involvement in such activities can combat stress and allow them to compete with students from other faculties.

Polychronopoulou and Divaris[10] studied stress levels of dental students and concluded that all contemporary faculties of dentistry should effectively address potential sources of stress and thus support the education and professional well-being of future dentists. A study in Australia found that dentistry students had a high level of stress and emphasized that more work was needed to reduce stress among students.[18] In a study on stress levels among dentistry students in Turkey in 2010, the authors concluded that the students had insufficient time for relaxation and that short holidays, exams, long days, late finish times, clinical practice, clinical insufficient, and competition for notes contributed to increased stress levels.[19] Another study assessing the free time of university students in Turkey conducted in 2014 recommended increasing students' motivation, facilitating their participation in leisure activities, increasing the number of facilities and clubs where the students can spend their leisure time so that their stress levels will decrease.[20] A study of medical school students, who like dentistry students face a high level of stress, concluded that students should be offered more opportunities for leisure and leisure activities, such as weekly film shows, event celebrations, sightseeing tours, and musical concerts.[21] A study that examined the effect of music on stress associated with visiting the dentist and dental treatment-related stress concluded that listening to music for 10 min prior to the treatment helped to reduce stress.[22]

According to the literature, leisure pursuits are important in academic life to reduce the stress levels of students, especially those of students undertaking intensive courses and clinical practice. Studies also suggest that involvement in leisure activities can better prepare students for their professional lives in the future. The present study focused on competitive sporting activities, as these allow students the opportunity to do community and have many facilities. This is the first study to examine the effect of sporting activities on students of dentistry. As shown by the results of the present study, sporting activities reduce the stress level of the students and do not have a negative effect on their success. Other factors, such as increase in the number hours per week spent on sporting activities or the nature of the activity (i.e., level of intensity), did not affect.

As with any amateur sporting activity, the participants may incur various injuries.[23] According to the results of the present study, these injuries did not affect the students' coursework. Sporting activities are not only useful for reducing stress in student life but also for decreasing stress in professional work life. Based on the findings of the present study, our students will continue to engage in sporting activities throughout their careers and to repeat the beneficial effects of these activities. In the literature, there are no publications related to this subject. We believe that this study should be supported by new research and new source questions in different countries.

The present study has a number of limitations. First, the study population was small due to the low number of students who participate in sporting activities in our faculty. Second, the study did not include cultural and artistic activities, with all the questions related to only one type of leisure activity (i.e., sporting activities).


  Conclusions Top


We believe that sporting activities contribute to both physical and social development and that they can help to reduce the intense stress that is part of everyday life, whether in university or the workplace. We conclude that sports activities play an important role in decreasing stress and increasing student motivation among students in the Faculty of Dentistry, where stress levels are greater than those experienced by students in some other faculties in the university.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


  Appendix Top


Appendix 1: Investigation of the Effects of Sporting Activities on Stress Levels of Students in the Faculty of Dentistry, Atatük University, Erzurum, Turkey

Dear Participant;

This survey is carried out on behalf of Atatük University Faculty of Dentistry Department of Prosthodontics.

The aim of the survey is to Investigation of the Effects of Sporting Activities on Stress Levels of Students in the Faculty of Dentistry, Atatük University, Erzurum, Turkey.

Since the research has a scientific quality, the compiled person and family information will be kept confidential.

I believe that you will give objective and sincere answers to the questions. Thank you in advance for your contributions.

1. Age:

a) 17–18 b) 19–20 c) 21–22 d) 23–24 e) 25+

2. Gender:

a) Female b) Male

3. Student type:

a) 1st year b) 2nd year c) 3rd year d) 4th year e) 5th year

4. What type of you interested in sports branch/branches?

a) Athletics b) Basketball c) Football d) Ski e) Table Tennis

f) Tennis g) Volleyball h) Swimming i) Other

5. How long have you been interested in this sport?

a) 0-1 years b) 1-2 years c) 2-4 years d) 4-6 years e) >6 years

6. How many hours a week do you spend on sporting activities?

a) 0-6 hours b) 6-12 hours c) 12-18 hours d) 18-24 hours e) >24 hours

7. Do you think sporting activities negatively affect your success in theory-based courses?

a) Definitely affect b) Affect c) Unsure d) Do not affect e) Certainly do not affect

8. Do you think sporting activities negatively affect your success in internship and preclinical practices?

a) Definitely affect b) Affect c) Unsure d) Do not affect e) Certainly do not affect

9. Do you think sporting activities negatively affect your success in success in exams?

a) Definitely affect b) Affect c) Unsure d) Do not affect e) Certainly do not affect

10. Do you think sporting activities help to reduce stress associated with theory-based coursework?

a) Definitely b) Possibly c) Unsure d) Is not e) Definitely not

11. Do you think sporting activities help to reduce stress associated with your internship and preclinical practices?

a) Definitely affect b) Affect c) Unsure d) Do not affect e) Certainly do not affect

12. Have you experienced any injuries during sporting activities?

a) Yes b) No

13. If your answer was yes, “Did the injury affect your internship and coursework?

a) Yes b) No

14. What type of injuries have you suffered as a result of sporting activities?

a) Extremities b) Dental c) Head and neck d) Complicated injuries

15. Do you plan on engaging in sporting activities throughout your professional life?

a) Definitely b) Probably c) Undecided d) No e) Never

16. Do you think that sporting activities will make a positive contribution to you in your professional life?

a) Definitely b) Probably c) Undecided d) No e) Never



 
  References Top

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    Figures

  [Figure 1]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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