To identify sex-based differences in the perception of benefits and barriers toward exercise and to determine the sex- and age-based differences in the level of physical activity (PA) among adult residents of Karachi.
Three hundred adult individuals were included in cross sectional survey conducted during July–October 2010. Perception of benefits and barriers to exercise and the level of PA were measured through a questionnaire. Differences in the perception of benefits and barriers of exercise and level of PA were calculated with age and sex strata.
Women perceived more barriers to exercise than men (P-value < 0.001). In all age strata women have higher ranks for domestic-related physical activity while men have higher ranks for job-related PA. Leisure time PA were significantly lower for females in all age groups. Total PA is also affected by age and socioeconomic status, higher among people having monthly income < 6000 rupees and lower in males > 45 years of age.
Sex-based differences exists in the level of PA and perception regarding exercise in mega city of Pakistan. There is a need to design programs that influence PA determinants connected to sex to prevent impending epidemic of non communicable diseases.
Naseer, Khoso, and Naqvi are with the Dept of Community Health Sciences, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Irfan is with the Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.