Here’s cheers to sedate uni students

MORE THAN MONEY: Alistair Rhind’s says drinking habits of university students also take into account health and study commitments.
MORE THAN MONEY: Alistair Rhind’s says drinking habits of university students also take into account health and study commitments. Brett Wortman

IT SEEMS university students are not the wild drunken party animals that many would think.

New data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that students at university are actually more sedate than their non-student worker mates.

"Higher education students aged 18-64 were less likely than other people to exceed the guidelines for both short-term and lifetime risk of harm from alcohol consumption," the ABS reported.

"In 2011-12, around 14% drank more than two standard drinks per day on average, compared with 21% of other people the same age."

The students are also less likely to binge drink, at 45%, than non-higher education students at 52%.

The data comes as no surprise for Alistair Rhind, a first year student at University of the Sunshine Coast.

He said it was more than an economic decision - it was also about health and being diligent about study.

"I guess a lot of students around town would be studying, especially around exam times, and go out during their holidays," he said.

He suggested that so-called uni night celebrations at local establishments each week were dominated by non-students.

"There's more people who work fulltime and go to uni night than actually go to uni."

The ABS data reveals that uni students also perform better in other health areas - university students are less likely to be smokers (10% compared with 21% of non-higher education students) and more likely to meet recommended guidelines for exercise (58% compared with 45%).

Unfortunately, both students and non-students all score a fail when it comes to obesity - 61% of students are overweight or obese compared with 62% of non-students.

Behaviour study

  • Health behaviours of Higher Education Students (18-64)
  • Alcohol - (more than 4 drinks in one sitting this year) - Uni student 45%, Non student 52%
  • Alcohol - (more than 2 drinks daily) - Uni student 14%, non-student 21%
  • Overweight - Uni student 61%, non-student 62%
  • Smoker - Uni student 10%, non-student 22%
  • Regular exercise - Uni student 58%, non-student 45%

Topics:  abs alcohol consumption health higher education

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