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African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Physical fitness and health risk assessment of urban black females

Marius F Coetsee

Abstract


Whereas coronary heart disease was not a major cause of death among black populations of South Africa in the past, the situation is fast changing. Health and fitness providers should give special attention to the modifiable risk factors of coronary heart disease for all populations. The aim of the present study was to identify the health risk factors present among 65 urban black females joining a health and fitness centre in Zululand, South Africa. In the present study only 3.2% subjects smoked. Before joining the health and fitness centre 72.6 % of the subjects did not participate in any physical activity. Hypertension was prevalent in 15.4 % of subjects. Cholesterol levels were very low among 94.4 % of subjects displaying a desirable cholesterol level (<5.2 mmol.l-1) and 5.6 % being borderline high (5.2-6.2 mmol.l-1). The mean fat % was 31.9 ± 7.1 % with a range of 16.3 % to 50.0 %. The mean BMI was 30.2 ± 6.8 kg.m2 with a minimum of 18.9 kg.m2 and a maximum of 49.5 kg.m2. Of the subjects 59.7 % had two or more risk factors, 14.5 % had three or more risk factors and 1.6 % had four risk factors. These results indicate that although black females still have a relatively low risk for CHD the individual risk factors seems to be on the increase and preventive measures are strongly indicated.
Key Words: Risk factors, health, fitness, black females, fitness assessment.
AJPHERD Vol.10(4) 2004: 259-270



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