Physical Inactivity in Nigerian Young Adults: Prevalence and Socio-Demographic Correlates

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Babatunde O.A. Adegoke
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Adewale L. Oyeyemi
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This study assessed the prevalence of physical inactivity and the influence of sociodemographic variables on physical activity categories, highlighting the correlates of physical inactivity in Nigerian young adults.


A representative sample of young adults age 16 to 39 years (n = 1006) from a Nigerian University were categorized using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire as physically inactive, moderately active, and highly active. Prevalence rates were computed for the activity categories and the independent associations of sociodemographic correlates on each category were determined using the multinomial logistic regression.


Physical inactivity prevalence was 41%. More likely to be inactive were females (OR = 1.93; CI: 1.49−2.49), those of Hausa ethnicity (OR = 2.29; CI: 1.08−5.84), having BMI > 30 kg/m2 (OR = 2.88; CI: 1.16−7.17), and those whose parents’ annual income was < 180,000 NAIRA (OR = 1.69; CI: 1.04−2.95). Less likely to be moderately active were females (OR = 0.71; CI: 0.61−0.95), those with BMI between 25.0 to 29.9 kg/m2 (OR = 0.46; CI: 0.23−0.92), and those of Hausa ethnicity (OR = 0.17; CI: 0.04−0.74).


Important sociodemographic variables that can contribute to the preliminary analysis of correlates of physical inactivity among Nigerian young adults were identified.

Adegoke is with the Dept of Physiotherapy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. Oyeyemi is with the Dept of Physiotherapy, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria.

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