Associations Among Depression, Leisure-time and Occupational Physical Activity of Health Care Providers in a Nigerian Tertiary Hospital Setting
Physical activity (PA) has been consistently associated with enhanced quality of life. The tight schedule of duty of health care workers may predispose them to physical inactivity and psychosocial morbidities which most of them tend to ignore while rendering services to others. The prevalence of depression among Nigerian health care workers and its association with PA is not known. This study investigated the levels of leisure-time and occupational PA and their association with depression among health care providers in a Nigerian tertiary hospital setting. The research was a cross-sectional survey of 734 health care providers. The Godin-Shephard Leisure Time Physical Activity Questionnaire, Occupational Physical Activity Questionnaire and the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale were used to assess leisure-time PA, occupational PA and depression respectively. Data obtained were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics at α= 0.05. The mean age of participants was 39.6 ± 9.4 years (range 22-57 years). Nearly half of the health care providers (46.2%) reported low participation or insufficient leisure-time PA that could provide substantial health benefits, while 20.2% participated in leisure-time PA that could give some health benefits and 33.7% participated in leisure-time PA that could give substantial health benefits. Sitting/standing were the main occupational PAs of the majority (96.2%) of the health workers. The overall prevalence for depression was 11.4%. There was a significant association between leisure-time PA and depression (χ2 =18.9, p= 0.016). There was no significant association between occupational PA and depression. There is low participation in leisure-time PA among health care workers and this is linked with depression. Efforts to improve participation in leisure-time PA among workers may help to relieve their depression symptoms.
KEY WORDS: leisure time, occupation, physical activity, depression