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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 680-683

Impact of internet on rural lifestyle in Bihar, India

1 Undergraduate Student (3rd Year), Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, Bihar, India
2 Department of Biochemistry, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, Bihar, India

Date of Submission17-Sep-2020
Date of Decision29-Dec-2020
Date of Acceptance07-Jan-2021
Date of Web Publication2-Nov-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ravi Shekhar
Department of Biochemistry, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, Bihar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdmimsu.jdmimsu_334_20

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Background: The lifestyle is a way of living by a person, group or society. The practice and transmitting the lifestyle occur across generation. The urbanization in rural areas has led to this change. The factors governing the lifestyle are diet, physical activity, use of tobacco and alcohol, and stress. Aims and Objective: This study was aimed to evaluate the lifestyle of rural adults using simple lifestyle indicator questionnaire (SLIQ) and internet use. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire-based study was conducted among the rural adult residents of Patna Dist. The lifestyle questionnaire was used with permission of Godwin et al. Results: A total of 296 participants aged 18–65 years were included in the study. SLIQ score confirmed 36% of rural participants were having healthy lifestyle. Conclusion: People are dependent on internet of things which has affected the lifestyle.

Keywords: Internet use, lifestyle, noncommunicable disease, simple lifestyle indicator questionnaire

How to cite this article:
Raj N, Shekhar R. Impact of internet on rural lifestyle in Bihar, India. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ 2022;17:680-3

How to cite this URL:
Raj N, Shekhar R. Impact of internet on rural lifestyle in Bihar, India. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 1];17:680-3. Available from: http://www.journaldmims.com/text.asp?2022/17/3/680/360212

  Introduction Top

Over the last century, the living standards and life expectancy have improved, which is associated with rapid changes in lifestyle of the society. Due to industrialization and urbanization, the high income group got increasingly alarmed with health burden of chronic diseases due to shift in their lifestyle.[1] The main contributing factor for this shift towards noncommunicable diseases (NCD) is change in lifestyle toward the unhealthy continuum, for example, unhealthy dietary habits, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking.[2] A healthy lifestyle lowers the risk of morbidity and mortality. Diet is an important component of lifestyle and has a direct and positive relation with health. It must be nutrient dense strongly coupled with intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.[3] Market forces are capturing young minds and tongue with junk food using multimedia strategy, as a result fruit and vegetable is getting marginalized.[4] Globally, majority of people consistently are consuming less than the daily recommended fruits and vegetables, leading to NCD.[5] Studies have suggested decline in overall physical activity, due to occupation and on the role of leisure activity.[6] The sedentary lifestyle presents a major public health challenge, i.e., physical inactivity is now identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality.[7],[8] According to the WHO, adults should do at least 150 min of moderate intensity or do at least 75 min of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week.[9] Alcohol is the world's third largest risk factor for many health problems and contributes to 4% of the global burden of disease.[10],[11] Tobacco use is influenced by multiple etiological factors, including individual, socio-cultural, and environmental factors.[12] Smoking hurts young people's physical fitness in terms of both performance and endurance and in adults causes heart diseases and stroke.[13] Stress is a consequence of general response to an action or situation arising from an interaction of the person with his environments.[14] Stressful condition leads to irregularity in diet, lack of exercise, and drug addiction.[15] Internet usage is involved in almost all the above factors, considering it, the study was aimed to evaluate the lifestyle of rural adults using simple lifestyle indicator questionnaire (SLIQ) and internet use.

  Materials and Methods Top

A cross-sectional study was carried out amongst rural subjects residing in villages near Maner Sharif, Patna District of Bihar for 2 months. Institutional Ethical Clearance was taken and informed consent from the participants was obtained before starting the study. Participants were briefed about the questionnaire as provided by Godwin et al.,[16] and their confidentiality was ensured. Questionnaire was answered by participants at market places, schools, and visiting houses. Participants with ill health within the past 12 months were excluded from the study. The questionnaire provided to the participants consisted of social demographic variables and 12 questions on SLIQ. Questionnaire included 5 components (Diet, Physical Activity, Alcohol Consumption, Smoking, and Stress) to assess the lifestyle and a question regarding internet use. The data available by the questionnaire were collected, entered, and statistically analyzed into MS office excel 2007.

  Observation and Results Top

Out of the 296 selected participants from rural area, with age group ranging from 18 to 65 years, there were 166 males and 130 females. The mode of the participants was 40 years. Illiteracy ratio was 1:2 in males:females; with 257 literate and 39 illiterate. There were 48 unmarried participants. There were 38 participants who did not use internet and were mostly of elderly age group, but were aware of it. [Figure 1]
Figure 1: Occupation of participants

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31% participants consumed green leafy vegetables and fruits 2–3 times/week, but cereals were consumed by 100% participants' ≥2 times/day. [Figure 2]
Figure 2: Consumption of green leafy vegetables and fruits

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27% participants did strenuous, 47% moderate, and 26% light exercise. Alcohol consumption was low due to its ban prevailing in the region. 13.5% participants were regular 13.8% occasional and 72.7% were nonsmokers. 16.2% were very stressful, 45.3% were moderate, and 38.5% were easy going. [Figure 3] and [Figure 4]
Figure 3: Categorical score of participants

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Figure 4: Simple lifestyle indicator questionnaire score of participants

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Lifestyles of the participants were classified as unhealthy, intermediate, and healthy categories depending on their obtained SLIQ score. [Figure 5]
Figure 5: Lifestyle

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  Discussion Top

The rural occupation, agriculture and farming, is a relatively stagnant occupation, unable to provide enough employment for the growing population. The seasonal fruits and vegetables grown up in fields are the only source and are easily available, but when the production is more, they were sold in nearby markets; a way to earn money. It was observed in the study that the participants neglected the consumption of fruit. Only 11.5% consumed fruits daily, whereas 46.5% consumed weekly, but fried packed foods are available in market in abundance, mostly the children and young adults, consume it. Nutrition knowledge is one of the key factors for improving eating behavior for health and overall well-being.[17],[18]

Physical activities are beneficial for health and well-being.[19] Person living in rural areas are indulged more in physical activities due to dependence on agriculture for their livelihood.[7] The season of crop cultivation and harvesting requires strenuous physical activity, but the modern methods of cultivation and harvesting have decreased the level of activity as the major part of work is done by machines. The machines are costly, thus are available with landlords. The middle class use it on rent, whereas poor still dependent on their physical strength. Women are mostly engaged in household chores. Poor women also work as agricultural laborers. The gender difference in physical activity demonstrated within this study is consistent with previous studies that males are consistently more active than females.[20] Most of the participants in the study were engaged in light and moderate exercise, strenuous exercise was rare.

In rural areas, children refrain from playing outdoor games, they prefer to stay indoors and are engaged with social networking on their smart phones or market places discussing on political issues.

Geographic and climatic disturbances such as drought or flood, financial strain, long working hours causes serious impact on the families leading to stress. The stress in turn leads to addiction. The stressful participants were involved in smoking/alcoholism/drug addiction. Alcohol is the only drug whose self-induced intoxication is socially acceptable. The short- and long-term effects of alcohol affect a person's body, lifestyle, and mental health.

Smoking is associated with pleasant and comfort feeling for many. Abuse of drugs is one of the biggest curses that have come across in modern society and most commonly used substance is “Tobacco.” 29.5% of participants were smokers. Many youngsters in rural areas start smoking because their family members and peers used to smoke.[12]

Participants in the study complained their unemployed children also as the reason for their stress. Thus the stress levels in study participants are found to be high, 61.5% participants felt stressful in their daily life.

The SLIQ score showed only 36% of rural participants were found to have healthy lifestyle. 64% were in unhealthy group. The internet accessibility and use of smart phones has brought a revolution, it has changed the lifestyle of newer generation.


The authors would like to thank the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR-STS Reference ID: 2018-04461) for providing the financial support in carrying out this research.

Financial support and sponsorship

ICMR-STS funding.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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Ko MS. The comparison in daily intake of nutrients, dietary habits and body composition of female college students by body mass index. Nutr Res Pract 2007;1:131-42.  Back to cited text no. 4
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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]


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