In this article based on the materials of a sociological survey conducted in 2015-2016, the state of the health forming environment of Russian universities is analyzed. The research was carried out using the methods of questionnaire, expert survey and content analysis, within the framework of which weak aspects of the health forming university environment were identified. The opinions of students of four courses of full-time education were analyzed, as the most involved ones in the life of the university, as well as the views of experts-specialists competent in the formation of health values among students. As a result, specific features, essence and content of the health-forming environment of the modern university were revealed, as well as factors affecting its implementation and development. On the basis of the findings, a comprehensive concept for the development of the health-formulating environment of the university was developed that meets the requirements of modernizing the contemporary system of higher education.
Keywords: Health-forming environmentstudent youthhealthuniversity
The state of health of students as a significant social group of modern Russian society is an important indicator of the future of labor, economic and cultural potential of social development (Stepanovaet al., 2000). The significance of the problem is determined by the fact that "the incidence of student youth is latent in nature, and in the analysis of the incidence of students, certain difficulties appear due to the lack of a system for recording this indicator" (Mekhrishvili, Samarin, 2016).
According to a number of scientists, the health of young people today is of medical and social nature, since in the future it determines the quality of the country's personnel and economic potential, and it is also crucial for the reproduction of the population and the health of the future generation (Abaskalova, 2000; Volkov, Druzhinin, 2002; Stepanovaet al., 2000).
In modern society, the significant role of people responsibility for their health is assigned to their self-preserving behavior, which is determined by motivation and value orientation, by self-assessment of their health and awareness of risk factors and measures to reduce them (Ivanov, 2003; Larionova, 2005).
This is of particular importance for student youth, which goes through the stage of achieving biological and psychological maturation, enhancing educational, professional and cultural functions, forming a system of value orientations (Schaveleva, 2006).
In sociological discourse, the definition of health "is impossible in isolation from the concrete environment in which a person lives, in isolation from the various spheres of manifestations of his/her life activity, without connections with the goals and purposes of a man" (Gvishiani, Lapina, 1988). In order to improve public health, it is necessary to ensure the stability of an enabling environment that provides an opportunity to choose the general conditions for an economic, physical, social and cultural environment that improves health (Silin, Volosach, 2015).
Higher education is a complex system of social relations, where a special role in shaping the health of students belongs to the university environment. University education is the center for managing students' health. During the training, many risk factors affect student youth, which contribute to premature fatigue of the body, which leads to a decrease in physical health indicators (Samarin, 2015).
A qualitative characteristic of the environment that reflects the extent to which the issue of forming students' health is addressed is the aspect of "health formation". The concept of health forming education is defined as a process "aimed at the formation and development of a positive, sustainable orientation towards the preservation of health in all subjects, as a necessary condition for viability" (Korotkova, 2011).
The final result of the process of preparing a student by a higher educational institution is to be the formation of personal values relative to his/her own health, the use of practical skills to preserve his/her physical and mental (and social) health (Garbuzova, Kondrashkova, 2016).
The problems of development of the health forming environment are considered today mainly in the field of social and economic issues of the functioning of the higher education system. Students should take care of their own health, both during the educational process and during extracurricular time. In addition, not every student is able to organize life activity based on the values of health, due to material insolvency. Accessibility or inaccessibility of recreational facilities (stadiums, gyms, fitness clubs, swimming pools, etc.) for most students have a direct impact on the formation of a healthy lifestyle for student youth. In the current situation, there is a need to develop and implement radical measures for the qualitative improvement of the university health forming environment, which ensures the reduction of negative trends, the leveling of social risks and the development of a culture of health in the youth environment.
The main research questions were:
Determination of the role of the health forming environment of the university in the development of the values of the health culture of student youth.
Definition of priority directions of the university activity on development of the health forming environment.
Purpose of the Study
The discrepancy between the modern requirements set by the society for the health of students and the actual system of forming, strengthening and preserving the health of student youth is an urgent problem of higher education. In modern realities, there is a need for theoretical comprehension and practical testing of the model for the development of the health-forming environment of higher educational institutions. Insufficient study of the real state of the health forming environment called for a sociological study aimed at defining strategies and mechanisms for the development of the health-forming environment of a modern university.
A direct questionnaire survey of student youth - quantitative research. The total sample size was 1040 people. The study used a targeted type of sampling - student youth.
Expert-poll - qualitative research, experts were the specialists and heads of the centers of physical fitness, teachers of physical culture and heads of physical education departments of leading universities in Tyumen, specialists of the Department of Sport and Youth Policy of Tyumen, scientists who studied the problems of sociology of health, representatives of Youth associations. The total sample size was 27 people.
Content-analysis of websites of leading universities of Russia - qualitative research, the object of which was websites of leading universities in Tyumen and the Russian Federation. Two groups of universities were identified: the first - educational organizations of higher education, on the basis of which flagship universities were established (12 universities), the second – educational organizations of higher education, project participants – 5-100 (21 universities).
The method of gathering information was an online survey, which was implemented using the "Survey Monkey" service. Statistical processing of poll results was carried out using the IBM SPSS Statistics program, version 22.0. The main types of statistical analysis were frequency analysis and analysis of contingency tables.
Results of the Research and Discussion
The most important aspect that characterizes the health-forming environment of the university is, in the opinion of students, "the development and implementation of a set of measures to maintain the health of students, employees and faculty at the university," 23.2% of respondents believe so. Health-forming environment of the university, according to respondents, should create such conditions that will be aimed at preserving and strengthening physical, mental, spiritual and social health. The priority task of the health- forming environment is the theoretical development and practical testing of a set of measures that determine students 'health as the goal, object and result of activities that guarantee high quality of education by providing optimal conditions for students' educational activities.
More than half of the respondents (57.7%), assessing the health-forming activity of the university, pointed out that today certain actions are required from the leadership of universities to improve its quality. Most of the students in higher educational institutions are convinced of the need for a certain correction of the health-forming activity of the university. This is because in the present period, to maintain health at the proper level in educational institutions, traditional activities aimed primarily at physical health are used. While mental and spiritual health, according to the learners themselves, has the same significance, the need for organizing work in this direction is also high.
The most important component of the health forming environment is the satisfaction with the services provided by the higher educational institution. Clearly expressed discontent of respondents is observed in relation to the following four aspects: absence of opportunity of obtaining a sanatorium/resort holiday (66.6%), the lack of programs for the formation of a healthy lifestyle (59.3%), poor food quality and unsatisfactory condition of canteens (50.9%), a low level of medical care (50.1%). Quite a large percentage of discontent respondents received a question about the quality of the conducted health events: 14.1% of the interviewed students are "not satisfied" and 35.7% are "rather not satisfied" with their level and quality.
Within the framework of the study, the respondents were asked to answer the question: "Which of the problems associated with the development of the health-forming environment of the university seems to you the most crucial today?" The analysis of the obtained data did not reveal significant discrepancies. To a large extent, respondents are concerned about the lack of necessary conditions for ensuring the health of students in the educational process of the university (27.6%).
21.5% of respondents are convinced that "the organization of rational nutrition of students" most effectively influences the implementation of the health-forming activity of the university. At the same time, as the study showed, students underestimate the work on the formation of the value of health and healthy lifestyles, which is a whole complex of activities for the formation of knowledge, attitudes, personal orientations and norms of behavior that ensure the preservation and strengthening of physical, mental and social health of students. Only 13.8% of the respondents indicated the importance of this direction of the university activity.
Assessing the state of the health - forming environment of universities, only one third of experts (33.3%) described it as actively developing. More than half of specialists (59.3%) are sure that today there are no significant changes in its condition. 7.4% of respondents said that its condition is in crisis. The results of the expert survey correlate with the opinion of respondents about the conservatism of activities aimed at forming the health of students and the need for cardinal changes in their forms and methods.
The experts also actualized those problems that, in their opinion, are the most urgent for today - the first place was given to the lack of a system for the formation of value orientations of a healthy lifestyle among student youth. Of course, this assessment is objective and important: value guidelines have always constituted the essential foundation of the individual; and the formation of the value system of a healthy lifestyle contributes to meeting the needs of students, in the development of physical, mental and social health.
In the logic of the study, it seemed necessary to identify the basic conditions that contribute to the development of the health forming environment of the university. So, the main ones attributed by the experts were: the interest of the leadership of the university; development of the material and technical base; availability of highly qualified personnel; provision of financing; the motivation of students to develop their own health; improvement of the regulatory framework.
An analysis of the expert opinion revealed that more specialists focus on three problematic aspects, the solution of which, in their opinion, belongs to the priority tasks of the modern system of higher education: 1. lack of health education programs; 2. poor quality of organization and conduct of recreational activities; 3. obsolete material and technical base of universities. The solution of these tasks is possible only when implementing a comprehensive approach, with the interaction of all participants in the educational process.
In order to develop a strategy and priorities for the development of the health-forming environment, there was a need for content analysis of the websites of leading Russian universities. The analysis of official websites of flagship universities and universities of the "5-100 program" revealed an insufficient level to increase the internal motivation of students to lead a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, the group of universities participating in the" 5-100 program" proved to be more effective in organizing the health forming environment, which is ahead of a group of flagship universities in a number of indicators. On their websites, the information of the current state of the health-forming environment is presented more qualitatively: health education programs are placed, innovations in the conduct of recreational activities are presented, monitoring researches of students' health are used, modern technologies for developing the health-forming environment are used, and experience of cooperation with other social institutions and state structures in this direction are tested.
1. According to the results of the questionnaire, it was possible to identify the most important characteristic of the health-forming environment of the university. 23.2% of respondents expressed confidence that in order to maintain the health of students, it is necessary to develop and introduce into the educational process a set of measures that contribute to the formation of values for a healthy lifestyle.
2. 57.7% of students, assessing the health-forming activity of the university, are convinced of the need for certain specific actions on the part of the management to improve its quality. A minority of experts give a high assessment of the state of the health forming environment of the university. More than half of the respondents are sure that today there are no significant changes in it. It should also be noted that 7.4% of experts are convinced of the crisis of its condition.
3. The analysis of the problem also revealed a low level of awareness of the students in this issue. In our opinion, the success of the development of the health-forming environment of the university in the modern educational process directly depends on an integrated approach to solving this problem, the system-forming element of which, according to experts, is the lack of a system for the formation of value orientations for a healthy lifestyle among student youth; the lack of qualified specialists in the education and training of a healthy lifestyle; the lack of innovative health-improvement programs.
4. The respondents attributed the most important factors, affecting the implementation of the health forming activities of the university, to the organization of: rational nutrition; moving activities; educational process in accordance with sanitary norms and hygienic requirements. They are the potential components of a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, most of the interviewed students underestimate the importance of systematizing the work on the formation of the value of health and a healthy lifestyle that defines personal guidelines and norms of behavior that ensures the preservation and strengthening of physical, mental and social health. The experts attributed the following to the priorities of the development of the health-forming environment: introduction in the educational process of the university courses and programs on the formation of health and a healthy lifestyle; improvement of the material and technical base of the university; financing health-improving activities; formation of the image of universities as HEIs of a healthy lifestyle; the professional development of teachers in the field of healthy lifestyles; the formation of a system of value orientations of health and a healthy lifestyle for students; interaction of universities on the issues of development of the health forming environment. A key element in the implementation of these measures is the active position of the leadership of higher educational institutions, which determines the strategies and priorities for the development of the university as a whole.
The formation of a competitive specialist focused on maintaining his/her own health is promoted by the development of the health-forming environment of the university, which predetermines the fundamentals of the life activity of each student. The development of this environment should not be limited to the idea of strengthening only the somatic health of students. The primary task is to preserve and strengthen the social health of students, the violation of which leads to negative social deformations of an individual.
The social health of student youth is, on the one hand, the most important indicator of the degree of inclusion of young people in society, and on the other hand, the determining factor of the attitude of society towards students (Gafiatulina, 2015). The authors suggest treating health as a socio-cultural symbol that sets the image of a student's personality that is capable to live in the framework of values of culture of health. In this context, "ill health" is an image of a person who consciously or unconsciously does not accept the value system of a specific cultural and historical community.
The authors came to the conclusion that the development of the health forming environment under the conditions of the university makes it difficult to solve a number of problems, the solution of which requires an integrated approach. The elaborated Concept presupposes the implementation of the basic directions for the development of a university health-forming environment:
Taking into account the multifactority and multifaceted development issues of the health forming university environment, its priority can be:
Development and implementation of an innovative approach to the organization of student learning activities in the context of health conservation and health formation.
Training of pedagogical personnel in the field of health formation.
Organization of research activities on the development of student health.
Development and implementation of social support programs for students.
Organization of leisure activities of students devoted to physical culture and sanitary needs.
Improvement of the health care system in universities.
Development and implementation of intra-university health-forming programs and projects.
Development of innovative potential of the university on the improvement of the health forming environment of a socially active, morally stable, physically and mentally healthy student personality.
Carrying out physical culture and mass sport events. Introduction of innovative forms of recreational activities in order to attract more students to physical education.
Organization of work on the improvement, prevention of social diseases and risks in the student environment.
Introduction of modern technologies of health formation into the educational process.
Participation of universities in All-Russian contests for the development of healthy lifestyles that contribute to improving the health of participants in the educational process by improving the health-forming activity of higher educational institutions.
Organization of cooperation with universities, social institutions and state structures, which contributes to the effective implementation of innovations in the field of health formation.
Improvement of the regulatory and legal base.
Introduction of courses and programs on the formation of health and a healthy lifestyle in the educational process of universities.
Improvement of the technical base.
Financing health-improving activities.
Forming the image of universities as areas of a healthy lifestyle.
Improving qualification of professors in the field of healthy lifestyles.
Formation of the system of value orientations of health and a healthy lifestyle of students.
Motivation of students to save and develop their own health.
Organization of interaction of universities with other HEIs on issues of development of the health forming environment.
Practical significance of the obtained results of the research is the possibility of approbation and replication of the health formation model of the university environment, development of stable values of health among the representatives of student youth and the need to conduct a healthy lifestyle. The results of the research can be implemented in the educational processes of higher educational institutions and contribute to the formation of a physically, mentally and socially healthy student personality.
- Abaskalova, N.P. (2000). Theory and practice of forming a healthy lifestyle for students and students in the system "school-university." (Doctoral dissertation). Barnaul.
- Ivanov, A.G. (2003). Value orientations of adolescents and youth (based on sociological research), Socio-hygienic monitoring of public health. Ryazan, 170-172.
- Garbuzova, G.V., Kondrashkova, E.N. (2016). The university is a health-saving educational environment. Actual problems of protecting human health in environmentally unfavorable conditions, 45-48.
- Gafiatulina, N.Kh. (2015). Sociological analysis of the social health of students in the South of Russia in the framework of the theory of structural marginality, 1-2. Retrieved from http://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/sotsiologicheskiy-analiz-sotsialnogo-zdorovya-studencheskoy-molodezhi-yuga-rossii-v-ramkah-teorii-strukturnoy-marginalnosti
- Gvishiani, D.M, Lapina, N.I. (1988). Brief dictionary on sociology. Moscow. Politizdat.
- Korotkova, O.V. (2011). Health-forming education: experience, problems, forecasts. Collection of conferences SIC Sotsiosfera. 18. Retrieved from http://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/zdorovieformiruyuschee-obrazovanie-opyt-problemy-prognozy
- Larionova, I.S. (2005). The health of modern man as a value. Moscow. Russian State Social University, 265.
- Mekhrishvili, L.L. & Samarin, A.V. (2016). Health and a healthy way of life as the values of modern students. In the collection: Actual scientific research in the modern world Materials of the International (correspondence) scientific and practical conference. The Scientific and Publishing Center "The World of Science", 432-442.
- Samarin, A.V. (2015). Influence of risk factors on the formation of health of student youth. Electronic journal. Modern problems of science and education. Retrieved from: www.science-education.ru/121-18162
- Silin, A.N. & Volosach, A.O. (2015). Regulation of public health in the Tyumen region. The academic bulletin, 2 (32), 148-152.
- Schaveleva, M.V. (2006). Models of behavior, reproductive health and reproductive attitudes of female students. Issues of the organization and informatization of public health services, 4. 39-42.
- Stepanova, M.I., Kuindzhi, N.N. & Ilyin, A.G. (2000). Hygienic needs of reforming school education. Hygiene and sanitation, 1. 40-44.
- Volkov, A.N., Druzhinin, V.G. (2002). Factors of toxic genetic risk for adolescents of a large industrial city, Hygiene and Sanitation, 1, 49-51.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
About this article
19 February 2018
Print ISBN (optional)
Business, business innovation, science, technology, society, organizational behaviour, behaviour behaviour
Cite this article as:
Samarin, A., Mehrishvili, L., & Siteva, S. (2018). Health-Forming Environment As Factor Of Preserving Student Youth Health. In I. B. Ardashkin, N. V. Martyushev, S. V. Klyagin, E. V. Barkova, A. R. Massalimova, & V. N. Syrov (Eds.), Research Paradigms Transformation in Social Sciences, vol 35. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1136-1144). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.02.134