African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Physical activity among adults with diabetes mellitus in Rwanda

AM Kabanda, JS Phillips


Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common non-communicable diseases, and is the fifth leading cause of death in most developing countries. Regular physical activity is strongly recommended for individuals with diabetes for its beneficial effects in the improvement of blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity, prevention and reduction of morbidities and complications, as well as for its cardiovascular benefits. Using a cross-sectional design, this study examined the demographic, social and health-related factors associated with physical activity participation among adults with diabetes mellitus in Kigali, Rwanda. One hundred-and-fifty six (156) adults with diabetes mellitus participated in the study. More than a third (39%) of the participants was categorized as inactive. Active participants were significantly younger than those categorized as inactive. Age, marital status, level of education and self-efficacy for diabetes were all significantly associated with levels of physical activity. Common barriers to participation in physical activity were cited as poor health status, lack of motivation and lack of awareness about the importance of physical activity. It is thus clear that efforts should be made to educate adults with diabetes mellitus about the benefits of integrating regular physical activity in their daily routine.

AJOL African Journals Online