Although anxiety in university students has been well documented, the influence of lifestyle and fitness status in relation to anxiety has not been investigated from a cultural perspective previously. To make recommendations regarding the avoidance or management of anxiety in this anxiety-prone cohort that are rationally based, this preliminary investigation examined the interrelationship between anxiety, lifestyle self-reports and aerobic fitness in Hong Kong Chinese University students. The State Trait Anxiety Inventory (Form Y-2) and a lifestyle questionnaire were completed by 213 students. Female students were more anxious than male students. Subjects with high anxiety reported more deleterious lifestyle behaviours including higher salt consumption and lower levels of exercise; in addition to more frequent symptoms of anxiety such as headaches and daytime somnolence. The extremes of this sample were stratified into a low anxiety group ( n =17) and a high anxiety group ( n =14) to compare their fitness status. Although both groups had below normal aerobic capacity, the higher systolic blood pressure observed for the high anxiety group is consistent with signs of anxiety, or greater deconditioning in this group or both. The results of this study have highlighted anxiety as a concern in Hong Kong University students and identified some lifestyle and fitness correlates. Understanding lifestyle and pathophysiological correlates of anxiety in Hong Kong University students that may have a cultural basis, is a crucial step toward averting or managing anxiety when these students are studying either in Hong Kong or abroad.
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