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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 36, No. 1, 2017, pp. 1-9
Bioline Code: hn17027
Full paper language: English
Document type: Report
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2017, pp. 1-9

 en Prevalence and sociodemographic patterns of physical activity among Bangladeshi young adult
Uddin, Riaz; Khan, Asaduzzaman & Burton, Nicola W


Background: Physical activity offers physical and psychosocial health benefits that are important during young adulthood and later in life. However, little is known about the physical activity of young adults in low- and middle-income countries. The purpose of this study was to estimate the participation of physical activity in Bangladeshi young adults and to assess differences by gender, age and family income.

Methods: This cross-sectional study with a self-administered survey used a convenience sample of 573 young adults aged 18–24 years from six purposively selected universities in Dhaka City, Bangladesh. Data were collected during September–November 2015. Medians and their interquartile ranges of weekly time spent in total physical activity, and in different domains of physical activity, were computed. Non-parametric equality of medians test was used to examine gender differences in the median values. Chi-square test and Fisher’s exact test were used to examine gender differences in the prevalence of meeting physical activity recommendations and frequency of participation in different leisure-time physical activities, and differences in meeting the activity recommendations by age and family income.

Results: Seventeen percent of the participants were meeting moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) recommendations with a significantly higher proportion of males than females (27 vs. 6%, p < .0001). Median duration of MVPA was significantly higher (p < .0001) for males [120 min/week (80, 190)] than females [90 min/week (50, 120)]. Jogging/running was the most commonly reported leisure-time physical activity, with 20% of males and 12% of females doing this at least once a week. Age and family income were not significantly associated with meeting MVPA recommendations.

Conclusions: Four out of five young adults in Dhaka City did not meet the physical activity recommendations. Additional population-based studies, including regional and metropolitan areas, and using objective measurement, are needed to understand the physical activity patterns of Bangladeshi young adults.

Exercise; Early adulthood; Low- and middle-income country; Bangladesh; South Asia

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