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Alireza Esteghamati, Omid Khalilzadeh, Armin Rashidi, Mandana Kamgar, Alipasha Meysamie and Mehrshad Abbasi

Background:

Physical inactivity is a modifiable risk factor for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain types of cancer. This study aimed to investigate the patterns and demographic correlates of physical activity in Iran.

Methods:

The data collected through the third national surveillance of risk factors of non-communicable diseases (SuRFNCD-2007) on 4120 adults were studied. Physical activity was assessed by the global physical activity questionnaire (GPAQ) in domains of work, commuting and recreation. Participants were categorized into low, moderate and high activity categories. Total physical activity (TPA) was calculated using metabolic equivalents (MET).

Results:

40% of Iranian adults (31.6% of men and 48.6% of women) belonged to the low physical activity category. The median value of TPA was 206 (342 in men and 129 in women) MET-minutes/day. Physical activity at work, commuting and recreation contributed to 71%, 20% and 9% of TPA, respectively. Approximately 15% of Iranian adults (4.7 million people) do not have any physical activity in any of the 3 studied domains.

Conclusions:

Physical inactivity is common in Iran, particularly in females and in the older age groups. Preventing a rapid growth of conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases requires health programs with more focus on physical activity.

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Katja Siefken, Grant Schofield and Nico Schulenkorf

Background:

The Pacific region has experienced rapid urbanization and lifestyle changes, which lead to high rates of noncommunicable disease (NCD) prevalence. There is no information on barriers and facilitators for healthy lifestyles in this region. In response, we present the first stage of a rigorous development of an urban Pacific health intervention program. This paper describes formative work conducted in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The objective of this paper was to understand cultural barriers and facilitators in Pacific women to lifestyle change and use the findings to inform future health interventions.

Methods:

Semistructured focus groups with 37 female civil servants divided into 6 groups were held verbally to understand barriers and facilitators for healthy lifestyles.

Results:

Several perceived barriers and facilitators were identified. Inter alia, barriers include financial limitations, time issues, family commitments, environmental aspects, and motivational hindrances that limit time and opportunities for healthy lifestyle behavior. Facilitators include more supportive environments, social support mechanisms, and the implementation of rigorous health policies.

Conclusions:

Formative work is essential in designing health intervention programs. Uncovered barriers and facilitators help inform the development of culturally relevant health interventions.

Open access

Vincent O. Onywera, Stella K. Muthuri, Sylvester Hayker, Lucy-Joy M. Wachira, Florence Kyallo, Robert O. Mang’eni, Peter Bukhala and Caleb Mireri

Background:

Kenya’s 2016 report card aimed to highlight the health and well-being of Kenyan children and youth using the best available evidence on the physical activity of Kenyan children and youth. The report pointed at areas where Kenya was succeeding and areas where more action is required.

Methods:

Inclusive analyses of available data sources on the core indicators related to physical activity and body weights of Kenyan children and youth (5 to 17 years) were conducted. These were assigned grades based on a set of specific criteria.

Results:

Results show that Active Play, Active Transportation, Overweight and Obesity, and Sedentary Behavior were favorable with a grade of B. Overall Physical Activity, Organized Sport Participation, and School (infrastructure, policies, and programs) each received a grade of C, while Family and Peers, Government and Nongovernment organizations, as well as the Community and the Built Environment were assigned grade D.

Conclusions:

Over 72% of Kenyan children and youth use active transportation to and from school and in their daily lives. Although majority of the children and youth have normal body weight, there is need to ensure that they meet and maintain the physical activity levels recommended by the World Health Organization. More needs to be done especially in relation to the governmental and nongovernmental organizations, organized sports participation, as well as involvement of family and peers in promoting healthy active lifestyles among Kenyan children and youth. More representative data for all indicators are required in Kenya.

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David Guwatudde, Barbara E. Kirunda, Ronald Wesonga, Gerald Mutungi, Richard Kajjura, Hafisa Kasule, James Muwonge and Silver K. Bahendeka

Background:

Being physically active is associated with lower risk of many noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). We analyzed physical activity (PA) data collected as part of Uganda’s countrywide NCD risk factor survey conducted in 2014, to describe PA levels in Uganda.

Methods:

PA data were collected on the domains of work, travel and leisure. We calculated the percentage of participants meeting the World Health Organization (WHO) PA recommendations, and the types of intense-specific duration of PA. Prevalence ratios (PR) were used to identify factors associated with meeting WHO PA recommendations.

Results:

Of the 3987 participants, 3758 (94.3%) met the WHO PA recommendations. Work-related PA of moderate intensity, and travel-related PA contributed most to participants’ overall weekly duration of PA, each contributing 49.6% and 25.2% respectively. The median weekly duration of all moderate-intensity PA was 1470 minutes (interquartile range [IQR] = 540 to 2460). Weekly duration of all vigorous-intensity PA was low with a median of 0 minutes (IQR = 0 to 1080). The median daily sedentary time was 120 minutes (IQR = 60 to 240). Factors significantly associated with meeting WHO PA recommendations were body mass index and level of education.

Conclusions:

PA levels in Uganda are high, mostly achieved through travel and work-related activities of moderate intensity.

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Hannah M. Badland and Grant M. Schofield

Background:

Leisure time physical activities have been a priority in recent years for many health practitioners, with transport-related physical activity (TPA) largely ignored. The urban environment has altered in the last few decades, increasing the reliance on automobiles. Simultaneously we have seen increases in obesity and other non-communicable diseases related to sedentary lifestyles.

Methods:

Information was sourced from major health databases. The remainder of the literature was directed from citations in articles accessed from the initial search.

Results:

Clear health benefits result from regular TPA engagement, with opportunities closely linked to accessible urban design infrastructure. Much of the existing evidence, however, has been extracted from cross-sectional research, rather than interventions. As such, drawing causal relationships is not yet possible.

Conclusions:

Existing evidence necessitates TPA research and promotion should be public health and urban design priorities. Collaborative research needs to incorporate prospective study designs to understand TPA behavior.

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Maliha Naseer, Aneeta Khoso, Sadaf Naqvi and Hira Irfan

Objectives:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

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.

Open access

Narayan Subedi, Susan Paudel, Sudip Nepal, Ashmita Karki, Mahendra Magar and Suresh Mehata

Introduction The increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Nepal can be attributed to changes in lifestyle, food habits, aging and unplanned urbanization. 1 – 3 Physical activity (PA) is a modifiable risk factor that can reduce the risk of NCDs. 4 Though national level surveys have

Open access

Asaduzzaman Khan, Mohammad Abdul Kadir, Sohel Reza Choudhury, Fatema Ashraf, Mahbubur Rahman, Kazi Rumana Ahmed, K. M. Saif-Ur-Rahman, Sonia Parvin and Riaz Uddin

://ecd-bangladesh.net/document/documents/National-Children-Policy-2011-English-04.12.2012.pdf . Accessed February 18, 2018. 6. Biswas T , Pervin S , Tanim MIA , Niessen L , Islam A . Bangladesh policy on prevention and control of non-communicable diseases: a policy analysis . BMC Public Health . 2017 ; 17 : 582 . PubMed ID: 28629430 doi:10.1186/s

Open access

Chalchisa Abdeta, Zelalem Teklemariam, Alem Deksisa and Endashew Abera

Approximately 8% of children and youth live in environment that have inevitable infrastructure like sidewalks to engage in physical activity. Government D Policy exists regarding physical activity in the country’s non-communicable diseases (NCDs) agenda. However, it is not implemented yet. Our result showed

Open access

Karla I. Galaviz, Gabriela Argumedo Garcia, Alejandro Gaytán-González, Inés González-Casanova, Martín Francisco González Villalobos, Alejandra Jáuregui, Edtna Jáuregui Ulloa, Catalina Medina, Yoali Selene Pacheco Miranda, Marcela Pérez Rodríguez, Eugen Resendiz, Ricardo Alejandro Retano Pelayo, María del Pilar Rodríguez Martínez and Juan Ricardo López y Taylor

://promocion.salud.gob.mx/dgps/descargas1/doctos_2016/ensanut_mc_2016-310oct.pdf . Accessed May 21, 2018. 3. Lee IM , Shiroma EJ , Lobelo F , Puska P , Blair SN , Katzmarzyk PT . Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy . Lancet