Factors associated with physical inactivity among female and male rural adolescents in Borneo – a cross-sectional study

Cheah, W.L and Helmy, Hazmi and Chang, C.T (2014) Factors associated with physical inactivity among female and male rural adolescents in Borneo – a cross-sectional study. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 26 (3). pp. 447-453. ISSN 2191-0278


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Rural communities have shown marked increase in metabolic syndrome among young people, with physical inactivity as one of the main contributing factors. This study aimed to determine factors associated with physical inactivity among male and female rural adolescents in a sample of schools in Malaysia. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 145 students aged 13 – 15 years. Data on socio-demographic, health-related, and psychosocial factors (perceived barriers, self-efficacy, social influences) were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Anthropometric measurement was taken to generate body mass index (BMI)-for-age, while physical activity (PA) level was assessed using pedometers. The mean steps per day was 6251.37 (SD = 3085.31) with males reported as being more active. About 27% of the respondents were either overweight or obese, with more females in this group. There was no significant ifference in steps among males and females (p = 0.212), and nutritional status (BMI-for-age) (p = 0.439). Females consistently scored higher in most items under perceived barriers, but had significantly lower scores in self-efficacy ’ s items. Males were more influenced by peers in terms of PA (p < 0.001) and were more satisfied with their body parts (p = 0.047). A significantly higher body size discrepancy score was found among females (p = 0.034, CI – 0.639, – 0.026). PA level was low and almost one-third of the respondents were overweight and obese. Female students faced more barriers and had lower self-efficacy with regards PA. Based on the findings, it is recommended that interventions focus on reducing barriers while increasing support for PA. This is particularly important in improving the health status of the youth, especially among the females.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: perceived barriers, physical activity, self-efficacy, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Depositing User: Lian
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2016 00:56
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2016 00:56
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/11120

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