p-ISSN: 1300-0551
e-ISSN: 2587-1498

Mohammad Shafiul Hossen, Palash Karmakar, Abhijit Das, Arifur Rahman, Malthas Chakma

Department of Pharmacy, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Noakhali, Bangladesh

Keywords: Exercise, anxiety, depression, health, academic success, university students


Objective: Exercise and sport offer conveniences to health and general quality of life. In this regard, this study was undertaken to evaluate the impact of sport and exercise on mental and physical health, as well as academic performance among the university students in Bangladesh.

Material and methods: A cross-sectional study involving 639 university students (51.2% athletes and 48.8% non-athletes) aged 18-26 years was conducted from December 2017 to March 2018. Statistical analysis was performed by using the SPSS software (version 20) and Microsoft Office Excel 2010.

Results: Mental health condition of athletes was significantly (p<0.001) better, as they suffered less anxiety (30.3% mild, 4.3% moderate, 1.2% severe anxiety) and depression (31.2% mild, 5.8% moderate, 1.5% moderately severe but no cases in severe depression) compared with non-athletes (47.4%, 21.5%, 11.2% respectively and 40.7%, 28.1%, 12.5%, 5.8% respectively). The prevalence of overweight and obesity were less frequent among athletes (5.2% and 0.9%) compared with non-athletes (13.1% and 3.9% respectively). Athletes were much more physically fit than non-athletes, as the occurrence of different physical problems, mainly GIS-related diseases were less frequently observed in them. Though performances of athletes were better, their academic result was not as good as non-athletes (over moderate GPA 31.1% vs 16.5%) (χ2=21.099; p<0.001). Athletes who participated in sport or exercise almost daily or 4-5 days per week, had better health condition but lower academic results than athletes who engaged in for 2-3 days.

Conclusion: The propensity of anxiety, depression, overweight, obesity and physical illness among university students can be reduced by inspiring them or creating chance to take part in sports and exercise.

Cite this article as: Hossen MS, Karmakar P, Das A, Rahman A, Chakma M. Association of sport and exercise with health condition and academic performance: A cross sectional study among university students in Bangladesh. Turk J Sports Med. 2020;55(4):290-9.

Ethics Committee Approval

The study was approved by the Ethical Research Committee of Department of Pharmacy of Noakhali Science and Technology University. Written consent was taken from all study participants prior to interview. Information taken from participants was kept confidential.

Financial Disclosure

The research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


The authors are thankful to the management and students of participating institutions for their cordial help. Authors also would like to thank all the volunteer students, and honorable chairman of the Department of Pharmacy of Noakhali Science and Technology University for their warm support to this research work.