Background:Education of students in higher grades (15-17 years old) of schools has a number of characteristics: a lot more of adolescents' time is dedicated to studying schoolbooks in preparation for the final exams and the following application to university; rest, sleep and meal times and significantly reduced; more and more time is dedicated to the use of various electronic devices which are now an integral part of our life. Future challenges lead to an increase in neuro-emotional stress and anxiety, which in its turn affect children in the final stages of growth.
Aim: to study the time budget of 10-11 grade students in the Resource Center “Sechenov Medical Pre-University” , to determine the amount of time spent using electronic devices and to develop guidelines for optimal time usage.
Methods: To study the time budget of a modern student we developed a timing sheet, including not just the principal activities such as sleeping, meals, studying and rest, but also time spent using electronic devices. The timing sheet describes the whole day of a student from awakening to going to bed. Students fill the sheets themselves based on their time usage on a typical workday. 132 10-11 grade students of the Resource Center “Sechenov Medical Pre-University” took part in the study.
The study shows that in 69.2% of highschool students time spent doing homework is higher than the hygienic norm of 2 hours per day. On average students spend 2.4±1.5 hours to do homework. 21% do homework after 20:00, 5% – in the morning, before the classes, and 2.3% don’t do it at all. 47% of students also attend extracurricular activities (0.86±0.62 hours per day on average); 27% of students in the survey study with a private tutor for an average of 1.6±0.8hours. Therefore, homework and studying, including extracurricular activities, takes up significant time in 74% of students.
It was also shown that electronic devices became ingrained in the free time structure of students in medical classes. They are used for studying as well as communication and entertainment. This being said, time spent using the devices in free time is significantly higher than that during studying. Detailed data are shown in table 1.
In majority of students hygienic activities take up 15 to 40 minutes per day (0.52±0.33 minutes on average). It should be noted that only 52.3% of people in the study engage in hygienic activities 2-3 times per day.
33.1% of medical classes students take two or less meals per day, which is inadequate. They also tend to take their meals in the evening. A time spent on all meals per day on average is 59.09±29.06 minutes, which means that meals tend to be short. Only 39.2% of students take part in sports or physical activities (70.29±41.23 per day on average). 41.4% of students prefer jogging, 22.4% work out in the gym, 13.8% practice gymnastics. 28% of students are subjected to medium- and high-intensity physical exercise, making their exercises adequately successful.
About 47% of the students in the survey take walks, and time dedicated to walking is quite low – 0.58±0,4 hours per day.
Only 33.8% of students have free time, when the student isn’t occupied by anything in particular. This time on average is 0.32±0.12 minutes per day.
Increased study times and low free time of students most likely indicate extreme workloads and functional exertion of the nervous system.
Disturbed meal frequency, nighttime meals and “quick” meals leads to formation of gastrointestinal risk-increasing habits.
Insufficient physical activity and the following hypodynamia may lead to negative consequences both for the general health and for functions of some organs and systems.