The prevalence of physical activity among South African Indians residing in Durban
The Indian population in South Africa has been reported to lead a sedentary lifestyle, however, their physical activity participation levels are rarely reported. This study aimed to determine the level, types and barriers of physical activity among South African Indians residing in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. A cross sectional study, was conducted at the Durban beachfront in whichrespondents (n = 411) self-completed the global physical activity questionnaire (GPAQ) that included supplementary questions on demographics, specific activities and exercise history. . Over a third (34.3%) of the respondents were moderately active and 38% were highly active. The most common physical activities were walking (n = 187, 45.5%), weight lifting (n = 125, 30.4%) and jogging (n = 104, 25.3%). Younger participants were more involved in high intensity acitivities, while those over the age of 50 years preponderantly engaged in moderate intensity activities (p < 0.001). Both genders reported various intensities of physical activity (OR = 0.94; 95% CI = 0.83 – 1.17, p = 0.33); nevertheless levels were higher in males than in females (p = 0.03). There was no substantial relationship between physical activity and BMI (p = 0.34). Diagnosis of health conditions did not increase the likelihood of exercising (p = 0.39). Barriers to physical activity included lack of time (n = 92, 69.7%), post exercise pain (n = 43, 32.6%) and physical ailments (n = 16, 12.1%). We conclude that less than half of the study population meet the required levels of physical activity and that intervention strategies, such as time management and encouragement from medical professionals are required to improve the levels of physical activity among this population.
Keywords: Exercise, physical activity, Indian population, South Africa