Relationships Between Young Men’s Health-Related Behaviour, Psychological Distress, Physical Education and Sports Experience


  • Jovita Ambrutytė Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas
  • Brigita Miežienė Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas
  • Arūnas Emeljanovas Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas
  • Vida Janina Česnaitienė Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas
  • Daiva Vizbaraitė Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas
  • Renata Žumbakytė-Šermukšnienė Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas



Background. Negative health-related behaviours among young adults are common worldwide. Most of young males are physically inactive, have poor diets, drink a lot of alcohol or smoke, and such behavior causes physical and mental health disorders (Aubert et al., 2018). Nowadays more mental health problems are diagnosed among young people than a decade. Researchers are trying to determine the causes of harmful behaviour in adults, but the impact of previous physical education on further health-related behaviours in adults has not been studied.

Methods. Physical activity, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking was evaluated according to the 2008 US Department of Defense Survey of Health Related Behaviours (Bray et al., 2009). Adherence to a healthy eating pattern was evaluated using the Mediterranean diet adherence screener (MEDAS). Psychological distress was assessed using the six-item Kessler scale (Kessler et al., 2003).

Results. Nearly half of young adults were physically inactive, ate poorly, had harmful habits, one of ten had high psychological distress. Two thirds of the respondents participated in sports in childhood, 61% of young people liked the physical education lessons, 44% of them attended every PE lesson. Lower distress was significantly associated with better nutrition, higher physical activity, lower alcohol consumption, and smoking. Also, significant associations were found between higher alcohol consumption and more frequent smoking. Higher incomes, younger age, better perception and attendance of PE classes in the past, active lifestyle in childhood and adulthood are the predictive factors of more favourable health-related behaviours and better mental health.

Conclusions. Harmful health-related behaviours are prevalent among young adults, one of tenth has high psychological distress. Although the majority of young adults were active in childhood, the percentage of active adults decreases significantly. More favourable health-related behaviours are related to less distress. Better economic status, better PE experiences in childhood, sports activities in adulthood lead to better health-related behaviours and less distress.

Keywords: young adults, health-related behaviours, mental health, physical education.


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How to Cite

Ambrutytė, J. ., Miežienė, B. ., Emeljanovas, A. ., Česnaitienė, V. J., Vizbaraitė, D. ., & Žumbakytė-Šermukšnienė, R. . (2021). Relationships Between Young Men’s Health-Related Behaviour, Psychological Distress, Physical Education and Sports Experience. Baltic Journal of Sport and Health Sciences, 1(120), 13-21.



Health, Rehabilitation and Adapted Physical Activity