Physical activity levels and health profiles of adult women living in informal settlements

  • E.L. Tshabangu
  • Y. Coopoo


This study investigated the physical activity levels and health profiles of adult women living in the Mmasechaba informal settlement in Gauteng. Apart from the questionnaire, anthropometric measurements were recorded and body mass index and waist-to-hip ratios were calculated. The results indicated that the incidence of lower back pain (74.1%) was the highest hypokinetic disease pathology demonstrated and a number of biomechanical factors are implicated. The daily physical activity levels of these women were fairly high (180 minutes). These activity levels include 30 minutes of vigorous activity consisting of chopping wood, carrying and lifting water. The other 150 minutes per day was spent on mild to moderate activity consisting of cleaning the house, walking to work and doing other chores around the house. In addition, about two hours a day was spent on passive recreational activities such as socialising and watching television. The study strongly recommends that educational programmes must be put in place to increase the awareness of health and dietary problems that exist among these communities.

(S. African J. for Research in Sport, Physical Ed. and Recreation: 2001 23 (1): 27-36)

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069