An Analysis of the ACHA’s National College Health Assessment

While doing researching for this blog, I came across multiple studies that the American College Health Association has been implementing since 1998. These studies were collected and used to create the NCHA, National College Health Assessment. This survey was formed in order to assists higher education institutions in creating a healthy campus community. The NCHA includes around 300 questions assessing student health problems, health indicators, and perceptions.

In the Spring 2005 NCHA, 54,111 students on 71 campuses completed over 56,637 surveys. The sampling strategies included a mix of randomized classrooms, samplings, mailings, and wed based surveys. The NCHA questions are set up in five different categories: Demographic Characteristics; Health, Health Education and Safety; Weight, Nutrition and Exercise; Alcohol, Tobacco, and other Drugs; and Mental and Physical Health. The survey was 63.8% female and 36.2% male by random sampling, and the majority of students were between the ages of 18 and 29 years of age. Some of the results included…

-88.5% of students reported that they have some kind of health insurance

-Only 7% of students reported eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily

-43.6% of students reported that they exercise vigorously for 20 minutes or moderately for 30 minutes

-49.3% of students stated that they exercise to strengthen and tone muscles at least 2 days a week

-The mean estimated BMI for women was 23.3 kg/m and 24.6 kg/m for men (both values fall within the national average for a healthy weight range)

-60.2% of students reported never smoking cigarettes

I believe it is very important for these types of assessments to be presented to college communities in order to raise awareness of health detriments and successes that have been happening on campuses. This type of survey is critical to expand college heath professionals’ understand of the health needs of their students. It is also important for students to understand these results and work towards bettering their health mentally and physically.

After researching and analyzing this study, I have decided to do a small survey of my own with my peers around me. It is still in progress but I am looking toward asking students about how they see their own health… Do they see them selves as healthy, do they eat a balanced died, do they believe they are in good shape, etc. Be on the look out! 

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