The impact of unhealthy lifestyles on a child's behavior in school

Unhealthy food, lack of sleep, passive lifestyle, related works. Survey, Passive Lifestyle, Lack Of Sleep, Nutrition. How often pupils have negative feelings. Teachers' complaints. Can we do to reduce these negative displays of pupil’s behavior.

Рубрика Психология
Вид курсовая работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 18.05.2015
Размер файла 25,5 K

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The hypothesis

The objectives of this research paper


1.1 Unhealthy food

1.2 Lack of sleep

1.3 Passive lifestyle

1.4 Related works


2.1 Survey

2.2 Passive Lifestyle

2.3 Lack Of Sleep

2.4 Nutrition





Table 1 - Questions with answers Yes/No



We live among the people and it is very important for us to carry out our purposes. Normal working conditions are very important for our study at school. But sometimes there are behavior disorders in the school environment, which disturb the business conditions in a classroom. These are hyperactivity, anger, anxiety, fatigue, tension, depression, aggression. All these behavior disorders may be caused first of all by lack of sleep, unhealthy food habits and also by passive lifestyle.

But what can we do to reduce these negative displays of pupil's behavior?

The goal of this research paper is to study the effect of unhealthy lifestyle on the pupil's behavior.

The hypothesis

The author assumes that the lack of sleep, unhealthy food habits and the lack of physical exercise affect pupil's behavior.

The objectives of this research paper

· to survey the literature on the given theme

· to conduct a survey of classes of Lддnemere gymnasium

· to suggest how to improve the situation with pupil's behavior in Lддnemere gymnasium

· to fulfill the goal and justify the hypothesis

· to draw a conclusion

The methods used in the research paper are collecting data from various resources, analysis and comparison them with the data derived from conductive surveys, development of recommendations for the pupils.

The research paper consists of 2 chapters.

In chapter 1 the historical background about unhealthy food, lack of sleep and passive lifestyle is given.

In chapter 2 the analysis of the data derived from existing surveys is given.

There is a conclusion and appendix.


This is the background knowledge to the topic of this research paper. Here is some material of previous researches done on the subject.

1.1 Unhealthy food

If to say about unhealthy, junk food, so it consists of some supplements, such as E102, E124, E110, E122, E129, that are marked like extremely dangerous in the list of harmful food supplements.They destroy not only pupil's health, but also pupil's mind. As a result, there are a reduced level of attention, hyperactivity, irritability. (ZKH Book, 2008-2012)

1.2 Lack of sleep

Lack of sleep influences the most on children's behaviour. It is normal for students to sleep less, than 6 hours due to their lifestyle, while normally chidlren have to sleep at their age have to sleep 8-10 hours. They play computer games until midnight or walk with their friends and then, when they have to wake up at 6 o'clock in the morning, they just can't do it. Or if they do it, then the fatigue and anger are guaranteed for the whole day. (Melinda Smith, 2013)

1.3 Passive lifestyle

What does it influence on? There is no any doubts, that it reflects on health and then on the capacity of normal living. Children, who lead passive lifestyle are lazier, more passive, sometimes hyperactive and more often have depressions and some more serious and unpleasant problems. (Stibich, 2009)

1.4 Related works

In thirst article (Rain) the authors consider the different effects of sleep deprivation, which helped them to make a list of the main problems that pupils deal with if they have the lack of sleep. They are slowed response time, inattention, reduced short term memory and impaired judgment. Also in Ella Rain's article the author found some behavior disorders due to the lack of sleep such as slurred speech, clumsiness, inability to remember names of people and objects and also to bring eyes into focus. The lack of sleep may cause depression, decrease of daily energy level.

From the article (Stibich, 2009) and article (Chrysohoou, 2011) the author found out which problems a person may face if he has passive lifestyle. And if to say about these problems, they are pretty dangerous and serious. They are overweight, cardiovascular disease, the risk for stroke, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.

The article (Walters, 2009) helped and made the author the main questions about food and its effect on our emotional state and health clear. And the main idea of this article, which can be an answer for all questions is «the right food at the right time eaten in the right situation with the right people changes our state of well-being».

And it was really important for the author to find the article («How Foods Affect Mental And Emotional Health»), because in this article the author everything about the effects of unhealthy food and about the classification of foods. The foods is classified into 3 types: pure foods, stimulating foods and impure or rotten foods. And foods affect our mental and emotional state in two ways: 1) they either furnish or deplete vital nutrients upon which our mental and emotional health depend, and 2) they either do or don't produce toxic by-products, in the body which poison the brain and contribute to emotional problems.

The article, that the author liked the most of all is the article (Russell). Very weighty material the author found in this article, because children usually like chocolate, but the author thinks they don't really understand how beneficial it for them and also how harmful it is at the same time. At the beginning of the research paper the author said that her objective is also to suggest how to improve the situation with pupil's behavior and this article is a real helper in that case, because chocolate increases the level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates moods, creating a good feeling, if you eat it in normal amounts. But also chocolate is the worst thing, because it is reported to cause headache, obesity, rectal itching, hear burn and emotional problems like irritability, confusion, anger and depression, if you eat it extremely much.

The article (Paton, 2006) is the article, which confirmed the authors' hypothesis about the influence of lack of sleep, unhealthy food habits and the lack of physical exercise on the pupils' behavior. As to the lack of sleep, so Graeme Paton's article states, that during sleep many of the body's major organ and regulatory systems continue to work actively, some parts of the brain increase their activity dramatically, and the body produces more of certain hormones.

(Wikipedia, 2013)

The article (Wikipedia, 2013) tells an essential information about serotonin, that plays an important role in learning and memory, particularly in the acquisition and retrieval of short term memories. It has been found that at least thirty minutes of daily aerobic activity such as running, biking or walking is needed to elevate serotonin synthesis in the brain. Weight lifting and stretching exercises have not been associated with increased serotonin levels. Also serotonin is the primary neurotransmitter involved in depression. It is proved, that depressed people have lower levels of serotonin than nondepressed people. And antidepressant medications are often prescribed in an attempt to elevate serotonin activity. Physical activity has been proposed as a possible remedy for depression due to its ability to increase levels of brain serotonin. In this way, exercise may help prevent memory impairment through combating depression with heightened serotonin levels.


2.1 Survey

The survey for students of 7th and 8th forms of Lддnemere gymnasium was carried out during the period 01/04/2013-01/05/2013.

Students were asked some questions about their lifestyle, nutrition and atmosphere at school.

55 people were questioned in total (Female - 22; Male - 32)


1. Choose from this list of junk food some products, that you prefer to eat or drink.

The list of junk food: Snack foods, gums, candies, sweet desserts, chocolate, fried fast food, sugary beverages

2. How often do you eat or drink them?

3. What time do you go to bed?

4. What time do you get up in the morning on weekdays?

5. Do you usually do morning exercises?

6. Do you usually go to Physical Education lessons?

7. Do you go in for sport?

8. Do teachers complain about you behavior?

9. If teachers complain about your behavior what do the complain about?

10. Choose from this list of the feelings some, that you sometimes feel.

The list of feeling: Aggression, hyperactivity, fatigue, anxiety, inattention, tension

11. How often do you have such feeling?

12. Do you often want to sleep at the lesson?

13. Do you sometimes want to chat or shout at the lesson?

14. How often do you want to fight at school?

15. Do you often worry about something?

16. Do you like to play computer games?

17. What do you usually do after finishing your homework in the evening?

The list of activities: Watch TV, surf in the internet, read book, spend time with family, go to bed.

2.2 Passive Lifestyle

It should be said, that the amount of pupils, who do sport and lead active lifestyle (exept lessons of physical educationa at school), is less, about 30%, than the amount of pupils, who lead a passive lifestyle (70%) and only have dreams about doing sport. What does it mean and what consequences does it bear? The author put forward the hypothesis, that students, leading passive lifestyle are lazier than others, they have depressions more frequently, fatigue and apathy are normal conditions for them and such students usually have no any desire to do anything.

Among these pupils 27 of them answered, that they have the feeling of anger regards to many thing very often. 17 children reported t run into depression, 14 children are tense and anxious, And 28% of respondents marked that they have such feelings once a day though.

But in the same way there are some pupils, for whom passive lifestyle is the cause of being hyperactive. Such students have an extremely huge amount of energy and they get rid of it by being aggressive, hyperactive and doing bad thing at school.

12 students reported, that they listen too much about the teachers' discontent because of children's behavior.

In total 55 students were questioned and 41 people said, that it was a great problem of a hunger to shout during breaks and even at lessons. That's why almost the half of respondents (23 people) reported that they have some misunderstanding with teachers because of their behavior. And they explain this problem by giving some examples of bad behavior: 25 people said, that the main problem of it is inattention, 12 people - hyperactivity, 11 people - anxiety, 10 people - fatigue, 5 - aggresion, 3 - tension. (Figure №4)

Also significant inference was done by analazing students' answers to questions, that are directly related to each other. 29 people reported, tha they always have worries about something and 43% of those as well answered „Always“ to the question „How often do you want to fight at school?“. They are supposed to lead passive lifestyle. As a result they suffer from depression and apathy, they can't control themselves, fight and worry about the consequences of their actions.

Hence by the long succession of argumentations and proofs base on a made research it could be said, that the hypothesis to influence of a child's passive lifestyle on his behavior is confirmed.

2.3 Lack Of Sleep

Let's take another part of research papet about pupil's lack of sleep and consequences of it.

Students were asked questions about the time they usually go to sleep and the time they usually wake up. To summarise it can be said, that children sleep extremely not enough. Just when they have to sleep around 10 hours per night, they sleep only 6 hours and less on the average. What does it cause? The answers to the questions „What do you usually do after finishing your homework in the evening?“ made clear everything, because almost 48% of children reporte to surf the Internet every evening after finishing their homework, 26% prefer watching TV, 7% reading books, 15% spending time with their families and only 4% go to sleep.

About 50 people of 55 respondents said, that they attend hobby classes (including sport), so let's surmise, that children come home from school at 3PM, then they are busy attending extra classes till 5PM-6PM, at 6PM they begin to do their homework and by 8PM they finish doing their homework. By the rule of healthy sleep, if a child wakes up at 7AM, so he has to go to sleep at 9PM. This means, that one hour in the evening is devoted to free time, but the rule is absolutely ignored by polled students. 72% of students go to sleep only at 11PM and even later, 25% at 10PM and merely 3% at 9PM. So children spend playing computer, watching TV and etc about 4 hours per every evening, when they already must be in bed. And in the morning, when it is time to wake up, they realise, that have plenty of problems. Undoubtedly, they are fatigue, tension and unwillingness of doing something. Then during the whole day at school children want to sleep at lessons (41 students answered to the question „Do you often want to sleep at the lesson?“.

Also it is worth to remember, that earlier from the article (Paton, 2006) we found out, that during sleep many of body's major organs and regulatory systems continue to work actively, some parts of the brain increase their activity dramatically and the body produces more of certain hormones. Then there is rather logical and supported by proofs conclusion, taht the childrens' organisms don't have enough time for resting, the brain doesnt have an opportunity to reboot for 6 hours of sleeping. That's why children suffer from fatigue, drowse and they don't display great activity during the whole day at school.

2.4 Nutrition

The next concerned point is children's nutrition. It was expected, that because of eating unhealthy junk food, which consists of a huge variety of unhealthy, harmful supplements, the behavior of students changes, they become inattentive, angry and hyperactve. Different supplements influence not only on physical health, but also on mental health.

Junk food destroys emotional stability and is an obstacle to the development as well. («How Foods Affect Mental And Emotional Health») It was found, that children eat junk food very frequently, namely 43% answer, that they eat junk food even once a day or a week. 44% report that they eat such food seldom and 13% - always. Ration of junk food is endless, but we picked out only 7 types and asked pupils which products they like more and made a rating table №1

It is showed, that chocolate consumption is in the first place.

Children really like chocolate, but they don't really know how harmful and beneficial it is for them at the same time. Children don't limit themselves eating a lot of chocolate. But the intake of chocolate a day is 40gr, children prefer to eat the whole bar, which is usually about 100-150gr. But it is already known, that a small dose of chocolate is health-giving, because it increases the level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates moods, creating a good mood. (Russell) But the excessive dose of chocolate causes emotional problems, such as anger, depression, confusion. These behavior problmes were mentioned by polled students.


negative displays pupil behavior

The research paper gave some background knowledge to the topic of this paper. The information was taken from various sources. Then the surveys were conducted in Laanemere gymnasium, Tallinn.

The research hypothesis was: “he lack of sleep, unhealthy food habits and the lack of physical exercises affect pupil's behavior.

In the process of research, the hypothesis was confirmed out, so there are some inferences:

1. Children sleep not enough, in 0.7 times less, than they must. It causes fatigue, tension, drowse and unwillingness to be active.

2. 74% of students go to sleep later, than they must, because of sittinng in front of TV or computer.

3. 70% of polled children lead a passive lifestyle, what causes depression, apathy and sometimes hyperactivity.

4. Students usually let out their saved energy by aggression and shouting at school.

5. The most widespread product of junk food among children is chocolate.

6. 56% children consume junk food rather often, what causes problems with as physical and mental health.

Some suggestions to improve pupils' behavior were made in this research paper. This research paper is believed to be useful for teachers, parents and pupils in Laanemere gymnasium.


1. Sleep more, calculating in advance the time of sleeping, what almost always has to be about 10 hours. Also observe daily schedule even at the weekend.

2. Map your day in a such way to have time for everything.

3. Do sport! Do morning exercises, such exercises won't only wake you up, but will give an energy. Go to the gym at least once per week.

4. Use your energy wisely, without fighting and shouting during breaks at school. Draw, dance and talk with classmates.

5. Remember about a harmful side of chocolate. Hold to the daily norm - 40gr per day, prolong the enjoyment.

6. Cut down eating of junk food. Replace sugary beverages by juice and water, snack food by fruits and vegetables, forget about fried fast food, keep eating candies and sweet desserts, but reduce the amount of them

7. Be active, health and happy.


1. «How Foods Affect Mental And Emotional Health». (n.d.). Retrieved from

2. Chrysohoou, C. (2011). «Cardiovascular Disease-Related Lifestyle Factors and Longevity». Retrieved from

3. Melinda Smith, M. L. (2013, October). Retrieved from "How Much Sleep Do You Need?":

4. Paton, G. (2006). «Ten reasons for bad behavior». Retrieved from

5. Rain, E. (n.d.). «Psychological Effect of Sleep Deprivation». Retrieved from

6. Russell, M. (n.d.). «The Effects Of Chocolate On The Emotions». Retrieved from

7. Stibich. (2009). «Energize Your Life». Retrieved from

8. Stibich, M. (2009). «Top 10 Health Benefits of a Good Night's Sleep». Retrieved from

9. Walters, S. (2009). «Food Affects Our Emotional State». Retrieved from

10. Wikipedia. (2013, September 30). Wikipedia. Retrieved from

11. ZKH Book. (2008-2012). Retrieved from "List of dangerous supplements":


Table 1 - Questions with answers Yes/No



I would like to

Do you usually do morning exercises?




Do you usually go to Physical Education lessons?




Do you go in for sport?




Do you attend any hobby classes?




Do you sometimes want to chat or shout at the lesson?




Do teachers complain about you behavior?




Do you often worry about something?




Do you often want to sleep at the lesson?





Ивина Валюлис (2013). Влияние нездорового образа жизни учеников на их поведение в школе. Автор работы исследует различные аспекты ведения нездорового образа жизни учеников. Выдвигает гипотезу, заключающуюся в том, что ведение нездорового образа жизни напрямую влияет на поведение детей в школе. Тестируя и опрашивая детей и изучая атмосферу в школе, автор подтверждает свою гипотезу. Данная исследовательская работа полезна как для детей, так и для учителей, родителей и психологов.

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