Physical activity and adjustment in medical students in a campus of UNAM.

Actividad física y adaptación escolar en estudiantes de medicina en un campus de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
Mercedes Esmirna Ríos Bustosa, Marisela Torres Vacaa, Concepción de la Torrea

a Facultad de Estudios Superiores Zaragoza, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, México

Recibido 10 febrero 2016, Aceptado 26 abril 2016

Palabras Clave

Trastorno de adaptación, Actividad física, Formación integral


Adjustment disorder, Physical activity, Integral education


Introduction: When students begin studying in a new campus, it involves a process of adjustment in education, performance, and coexistence. Integral education and healthy lifestyles are current issues in academic programs.

Adjustment disorders among the student population of the Higher Education Faculty, UNAM, Zaragoza, has increased, with its consequence: depression and risk of suicide. Therefore this study was made in order to prevent these disorders.

Objective: To determine the differences in adjustment to an educational environment in a group of new students who performed physical activity during the academic year and a group of students who did not perform any.

Method: Two groups of 53 students each answered some questions using a Likert scale with 9 topics related to academic adjustment. One group performed physical activity during the academic year while the other group did not.

An intra-group analysis was performed before and after the study. A qualitative analysis of comments written in the questionnaires, and an ordinal quantitative comparison, with application of chi squared for statistical significance, was also performed.

Results: Qualitatively, a better adjustment was observed between students who performed physical activity throughout the academic year. In the quantitative results, the study group only had a significant change in the topic: “campus satisfaction” (chi squared; 0.046). The control group had two significant changes: “campus satisfaction” and “expectation of the career” (0.025 and 0.020). The other parameters did not show significant changes.

Conclusion: Regular physical activity promotes better adaptation among new students, thus it can prevent depression and serious complication, such as suicide.