Self-Reported Physical Activity among Health Care Professionals in South‑West Nigeria
Introduction: Physical activity (PA) is a key requirement for maintaining good health. There is growing evidence of declining PA worldwide. Physical inactivity is linked with the global obesity pandemic and increasing burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in developing countries. A barrier to PA counseling by health care providers (HCPs) is personal PA habits. Information regarding PA among HCPs in Nigeria is limited. We aimed to determine the adequacy and predictors of PA among HCPs of a tertiary health care facility in Lagos, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross‑sectional study was carried out with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form (IPAQ-SF). Using the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline, PA was categorized as adequate or inadequate. Predictors of PA were explored with multivariate logistic regression.
Results: A total of 300 HCPs were recruited, comprising 47.7% doctors and dentists, 43.3% nurses and 9.0% other HCPs. Mean age was 39.9 (9.0 years), 79.2%, 9.7% and 11.1% of the HCPs had low, moderate or high PA levels respectively. Thus, only 20.8% had adequate PA. 71.3% had body mass index (BMI) above the recommended value. BMI of ≥ 25 kg/mS2 was associated with inadequate PA (Adjusted Odds Ratio-2.1, P = 0.018).
Conclusion: Majority of the HCPs had inadequate PA levels according to WHO guidelines. BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 was associated with inadequate physical inactivity. The low level of PA implies that these HCPs are at risk for NCDs. This will have a negative impact on availability of human resource for health. There is an urgent need to establish programs to increase PA among HCPs.
Keywords: Body Mass Index, Health Care Professionals, International Physical Activity Questionnaire, Nigeria, Physical Activity