Relationship of obesity and physical activity with academic performance among Indian dental students

Relationship of obesity and physical activity with academic performance among Indian dental students


  • Jaya-Snehitha Kuntamukkala Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  • Kalyana Pentapati Manipal Academy of Higher Education
  • Abhinav N Tadikonda Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sri Sai College of Dental Surgery, Vikarabad, Telangana, India
  • Vidya S Muliya Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  • Nanditha K Mysore Department of Prosthodontics, JSS Dental College & Hospital, JSS Academy of Higher Education & Research, Mysuru, Karnataka, India
  • Gautham K Tadikonda Government Dental College and Hospital, Hyderabad, Telangana, India


Dentistry, students, academic achievement, physical activity


Background and aim: Dentistry curriculum is laborious, strenuous, and stressful and has little leisure time due to numerous academic activities.  We aimed to evaluate the association of Academic Performance (AP) with physical activity (PA) and obesity. Methods: We performed a multicentric web-based survey through WhatsApp-based study groups among Indian dental students. A self-reported questionnaire that had information on age, sex, height, weight, current year, PA, and AP was used. PA was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire – short form which. is an open-ended 7-day recall questionnaire with 7 items (vigorous, moderate, walking, and sitting PA and the number of days, hours, and minutes spent on each activity). AP was recorded based on the average marks obtained in the previous academic year. Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated by the formula weight (Kg)/ height (meters)2. Dental students who had not appeared in any of the examinations and were absent from the academic curriculum were excluded. Results: A total of 575 students were included out of which the majority were female (n=449). The majority of the participants had normal BMIs (59.1%) and were moderately physically active (n=246). Students with normal BMIs had higher mean AP scores than obese. Also, moderate and high PA students had higher mean AP scores than low PA students. Students with moderate and high PA had significantly higher estimates of AP when compared to low PA students after adjusting for year of study, BMI, and sex. Conclusions: PA has a positive association with AP among dental students.


Dental Council of India. BDS Course Regulations. 2007.

Tangade PS, Mathur A, Gupta R, Chaudhary S. Assessment of stress level among dental school students: an indian outlook. Dent Res J (Isfahan). 2011;8:95–101. PMID: 22013469.

Basudan S, Binanzan N, Alhassan A. Depression, anxiety and stress in dental students. Int J Med Educ. 2017;8:179–86. doi: 10.5116/ijme.5910.b961

Jowkar Z, Masoumi M, Mahmoodian H. Psychological stress and stressors among clinical dental students at shiraz school of dentistry, Iran. Adv Med Educ Pract. 2020;11:113–20. doi: 10.2147/AMEP.S236758

Sekhon TS, Grewal S, Gambhir RS, Sharma S. Perceived sources of stress among dental college students: An Indian perspective. Eur J Gen Dent. 2015;4:121–6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0579.2008.00535.x.

Kumar YS, Pentapati KC, Methayil AC, Darsh A. Burnout syndrome and associated factors among dental students. Indian J Public Heal Res Dev. 2018;9:63–7. doi: 10.5958/0976-5506.2018.00697.6

Chenna D, Pentapati KC, Kumar M, Madi M, Siddiq H. Prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among dental healthcare providers: A systematic review and meta-analysis. F1000Research 2022 111062. 2022;11:1062. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.124904.2.

Kumar M, Pai KM, Vineetha R. Occupation-related musculoskeletal disorders among dental professionals. Med Pharm Reports. 2020;93:405–9. doi: 10.15386/mpr-1581

Ohlendorf D, Naser A, Haas Y, et al. Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorders among Dentists and Dental Students in Germany. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17:8740. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17238740.

Department of Economic and Social Affairs [Internet]. 2016. THE 17 GOALS | United Nations.

Alsabih M, Amin H, Alrawdhan A, et al. The Impact of Physical Activity on Health Care Student Academic Performance in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Int Arch Int Med 2018;5:30–7.

Elmagd MA, Mossa AH, Sami MM, et al. The impact of physical activity on the academic performance among medical and health sciences students: a cross sectional study from RAKMHSU-Ras Alkhaimah-UAE. Int J Phys Educ Sport Heal. 2015;2:92–5.

Hou Y, Mei G, Liu Y, Xu W. Physical Fitness with Regular Lifestyle Is Positively Related to Academic Performance among Chinese Medical and Dental Students. Biomed Res Int. 2020;2020:1–10. doi: 10.1155/2020/5602395

International Physical Activity Questionnaire. IPAQ [Internet]. 1998.

Booth M. Assessment of Physical Activity: An International Perspective. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2000;71:114–20. doi: 10.1080/02701367.2000.11082794.

Lee PH, Macfarlane DJ, Lam TH, Stewart SM. Validity of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form (IPAQ-SF): a systematic review. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011;8:115.

Craig CL, Marshall AL, Sjöström M, et al. International physical activity questionnaire: 12-country reliability and validity. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003;35:1381–95. DOI: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000078924.61453.FB

Srilatha A, Doshi D, Reddy Mp, Kulkarni S, Reddy Bs, Reddy S. Physical activity among dental health professionals in Hyderabad City: A questionnaire survey. Dent Res J (Isfahan). 2016;13:544. doi: 10.4103/1735-3327.197038

Bonu S, Pachava S, Bommireddy V, Ravoori S. Physical activity among dentists in neo-capital area of a South Indian State: A cross-sectional study. J Indian Assoc Public Heal Dent. 2019;17:152. doi:10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_138_18

Singh A, Purohit B. Physical Activity, Sedentary Lifestyle, and Obesity Among Indian Dental Professionals. J Phys Act Heal. 2012;9:563–70. doi: 10.1123/jpah.9.4.563

AL-Mhanna SB, Wan Ghazali WS, Mohamed M, et al. The Impact of COVID-19 on Physical Activity Patterns of Dental Students: A Multinational Survey. Healthc. 2022;10:2140. doi: 10.3390/healthcare10112140.

Lee JH. Factors affecting the academic performance of low-and high-performing dental students: evidence from Japan. J Adv Pharm Educ Res. 2022;12:82–6.

Ardila CM, Gómez-Restrepo ÁM. Relationship between physical activity, academic achievement, gender, and learning styles in students of a Latin American Dental School: A cross-sectional study. J Educ Health Promot. 2021;10:149. doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_646_20.

Scoring protocol for the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) [Internet]. 2005.

Centers for disease control and prevention. Calculating BMI using the metric system [Internet].,by%20height%20in%20meters%20squared.

World Health Organization. Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. World Health Organization; 2004.

Ardila CM, Gómez-Restrepo ÁM. Frequency of physical inactivity and insufficient sleep, and their mixed effects on academic achievement in ethnic minority students: A matched case-control study in a dental school. J Educ Health Promot. 2020;9:138. doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_78_20

Naczenski LM, Vries JD, Hooff MLMV, Kompier MAJ. Systematic review of the association between physical activity and burnout. J Occup Health. 2017;59:477-494. doi: 10.1539/joh.17-0050-RA.

Salsali M, Sheikhhoseini R, Sayyadi P, et al. Association between physical activity and body posture: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health 23, 1670 (2023).

Lewis R, Gómez Álvarez CB, Rayman M, Lanham-New S, Woolf A, Mobasheri A. Strategies for optimising musculoskeletal health in the 21st century. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2019;20:164. doi: 10.1186/s12891-019-2510-7.

Gill DL, Hammond CC, Reifsteck EJ, et al. Physical activity and quality of life. J Prev Med Public Health. 2013;46 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S28-34. doi: 10.3961/jpmph.2013.46.S.S28.







How to Cite

Relationship of obesity and physical activity with academic performance among Indian dental students. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2024 Feb. 28 [cited 2024 May 20];95(1):e2024058. Available from: