Patterns of Physical Activity Among Adults in Southern Nigeria


  • NN Ekerette
  • RA Sanusi



Background: Adequate physical activity enhances sound health, while inactivity often leads to adverse health conditions that undermine the overall quality of life.

Objective: To assess the pattern of physical activity (PA), including domains, sub-types and levels among adults in two states in Southern Nigeria.

Methods: In a descriptive, cross-sectional study, the International PA Questionnaire was used to obtain information from 1320 adults aged 20 to 64. Activity scores, reported in metabolic equivalents (METs), in minutes/week (METs-minutes/week), were computed for work-related, domestic/garden-related, transport-related, leisure time-related PA (LTPA) domains, and activity sub-types – walking, vigorous-intensity and moderate-intensity PA.

Results: The median values for total, work-related, domestic/garden-related, transport-related and LTPA were 4306.0 METs-minutes/week, 1510.0 METs-minutes/week, 915.0 METs-minutes/week, 396.0 METs-minutes/week and 0.0 METs-minutes/week, respectively. Walking, vigorous-intensity and moderate-intensity activity scores were 726.0 METs-minutes/week, 240.0 METs-minutes/week and 1800.0 METs-minutes/week, respectively. About 9.6%, 29.7% and 60.7% of adults had low, moderate and high PA levels, respectively. Following bivariate analyses, physical activity levels differed significantly between urban and rural settings (p = 0.043) and educational levels (p = 0.001). In logistic regression, males with secondary education had a higher likelihood of attaining higher PA levels (AOR = 4.12; CI: 1.36, 12.43; p = 0.012), while females with tertiary education were less likely to attain higher PA levels (AOR = 0.12; CI: 0.01, 0.94; p = 0.044) when compared with uneducated adults.

Conclusion: Transport-related and leisure time-related PAs were low in this study. Physical activity in all domains should be promoted to ensure maximum health benefits.


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