Self Reported Physical Activity Levels in Hypertensive Patients Attending the Medical Out-Patient Clinic of The University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin-City
Introduction: The importance of regular physical activity in the control of hypertension has been emphasized in various guidelines. This recommendation is usually suggested to the patients during routine clinic attendance. However in this setting, the different types of physical activities being undertaken at home are not well documented.
Objective: To assess the types of physical activity being undertaken by hypertensive patients attending the medical out-patient clinic of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study utilizing patients’ self report of the different types of physical activities undertaken at home. A semi-structured researcher administered questionnaire was used. The demographics, types, frequency and duration of physical activity were documented.
Results: A total of 509 patients were recruited into the study (age range of 22-97years; M:F- 1:2.2). Two hundred and fifty-nine patients (50.9%) volunteered they undertook some form of physical activity. This was mainly described as brisk-walking 179(69.1%), jogging 27(10.4%), gymnasium workouts 13(5.1%), dancing 4(1.5), cycling 4(1.5%) and weight lifting 1(0.4%). Physical activities in a further thirty one (11.9%) patients related to home chores and farming. The frequency ranged from 2-3 times weekly to daily in 179 (69.1%) and once a week in 30(11.6%), and infrequently in 19(7.3%). The time reportedly spent in exercising ranged from 5 to 180 minutes.
Conclusion: This study shows that just one half of the patients partook in some form of physical activity. There is need to engage hypertensive patients on the relevance of physical activity and encourage them to obtain the known benefits by optimizing their levels of physical activity.
Keywords: Physical activity, hypertension, adults, life style