Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Lifestyle and Mental Health of Undergraduate Students: A Study at a Public Sector University in Rawalpindi

Authors

  • Uzma Hassan National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi ( NUMS)
  • Hassan S Rana Sir Syed CASE Institute of Technology, Islamabad
  • Tamkeen Nishat Jaffry National University of Medical Sciences Rawalpindi (NUMS)
  • Hina Shan National University of Medical Sciences Rawalpindi(NUMS)
  • Raima Asif National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi ( NUMS)
  • Rubab Zulfiqar National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi ( NUMS)

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32413/pjph.v13i4.1202

Keywords:

COVID-19 Pandemic, Lifestyle, Mental Health, Public Sector University

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic, a pivotal global crisis, has profoundly impacted health systems, economies, and societies. Government-mandated lockdowns, particularly affecting young adults, including a substantial student population, have led to heightened anxiety, uncertainty, and loneliness due to extended university closures. These circumstances contribute to affective and behavioral problems, significantly affecting students' mental health and lifestyle. This study aims to evaluate the specific impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lifestyle and mental health of undergraduate students at a public sector university in Rawalpindi.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study at the National University of Medical Sciences Rawalpindi (June-Dec 2022) involved 340 participants. An online survey, using a structured closed-ended questionnaire, collected demographic information and assessed pandemic effects on lifestyle and mental health. Five lifestyle questions, twelve mental health questions evaluating emotional impact, and five questions assessing emotions were included. Results were analyzed and presented in frequencies and percentages.

Results: Most students (55%) were aged 21-23, with 18% male and 82% female. Urban residency was predominant (88.23%), and many were day scholars (61.6%) with employed fathers (90%). The pandemic had pronounced negative effects on students' lifestyles, including worsened diet (44%), decreased sleep (38%), reduced physical activity (50%), and changes in exercise habits (40%). Undesirable feelings and emotions regarding mental health were elevated.

Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has enduringly impacted students' lifestyle and mental health, emphasizing the need for resource allocation, particularly in healthcare-focused universities. Implementing improvements post-COVID is crucial for long-term student well-being benefits.

Author Biography

  • Uzma Hassan, National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi ( NUMS)

    Prof.Dr.Uzma Hassan

    MBBS, MPH, MSc, MHPE

    Professor & Head of Department Public Health

    National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi ( NUMS)

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Published

28-12-2023

How to Cite

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Lifestyle and Mental Health of Undergraduate Students: A Study at a Public Sector University in Rawalpindi. (2023). Pakistan Journal of Public Health, 13(4), 180-185. https://doi.org/10.32413/pjph.v13i4.1202