Introduction/Aim Despite the established health benefits of physical activity, the health risks of inactivity and the various interventions to encourage physical activity, a substantial proportion of young people remain insufficiently active. Studies have attempted assessing factors associated with physical activity but do not provide explanations for the dynamics of underlying factors. Similarly, interventions do not show significant difference in control. This study therefore was undertaken to determine factors associated with physical activities among the target population using health promotion theories to provide explanations of their dynamics.
Methods The study was a community-based cross-sectional study which employed a validated instrument developed to measure level of physical activity, assess patterns of sedentary lifestyle and personal-level and environmental-level dispositions of the respondents towards physical activity. Cronbach’s alpha Internal consistency measure of the instrument was 0.814 and all statistical tests were set at p= 0.05 level of significance as cut off.
Result Respondents (n=532) were male (50.8%) and female (49.2%) whose age ranged from 13-18 years Prevalence of physical activity was 49.59%, while sedentary lifestyle was 71.34%. We found that 39.9% of the respondents spend over 10 hours daily in school and at lessons with majority of their parents working away from home; respondents’ mother whose job required them staying away from home most of the time in a day were 72.0% while 81.6% of respondents’ fathers had jobs that warrant them being away from their home majority of the time in a day. The study showed a significant relationship between levels of physical activity and personal-level disposition (R-value 0.205) and environmental-level disposition (R-value 0.395) respectively at P=0.0001.
Conclusion Considering the low prevalence rate for physical activity among adolescents and the health risk of sedentary lifestyle, it is important to adopt a more intentional approach to intervention using health promotion tested theories adopted in this study. Such interventions should be aimed at harnessing individual interest and environmental dispositions within the context of school, home and neighbourhood.
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