An assessment of the physical fitness and coronary heart disease risk factors of white females in the Zululand area that attend health and fitness clubs

  • Marius F. Coetsee


Health and fitness clubs play an important role in addressing the causes of hypokinetic diseases and coronary heart disease (CHD). In order to be well prepared, service providers should be aware of the health and fitness profiles of their clients when they join their clubs. In the current study 243 white female subjects between ages 13 to 70 years were assessed, the results analysed for risk factors and the findings compared with existing norms in literature. This study found that 19.8% of subjects smoked > 10 cigarettes per day which is a cause for concern. Although this is lower than the general female population of Durban the current subjects joined a health and fitness centre and could thus be regarded as health conscious. Before joining almost half (49.4%) of the subjects were inactive. The incidence of hypertension (systolic >140 mmHg and/or diastolic > 90 mmHg) as a risk factor for (CHD) among 16.5% of subjects was relatively low when compared to that reported for females in Durban. Cholesterol levels were also lower than the average for Durban females because 28.6% of the subjects were found to be borderline (5.2-6.2 mmol.l-1) and 16.7% to be of a high risk (>6.2 mmol.l-1). When using BMI, 19.3% of subjects were > 37.3 kg.m-2 and therefore in a high-risk group for CHD. Multiple risk factor analysis revealed that 42.0% of subjects displayed two or more risk factors for CHD while 12.0% had three or more and 2.0% had four or more.

(S. African J. for Research in Sport, Physical Ed. and Recreation: 2003 25 (1): 13-22)

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069