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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.

Guwatudde and Kirunda are with the Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Wesonga is with the School of Statistics; Kajjura is with the Dept of Community Health and Behavioral Sciences; Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. Mutungi is with the Control of the Non-Communicable Diseases Desk, Ministry of Health, Kampala, Uganda. Kasule is with the Uganda Country Office, World Health Organization, Kampala, Uganda. Muwonge is with the Division of Socioeconomic Surveys, Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Kampala, Uganda. Bahendeka is with the Dept of Internal Medicine, Nsambya Hospital, Kampala, Uganda.

Guwatudde (dguwatudde@musph.ac.ug) is corresponding author.