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Original Research Articles

Pattern of physical activity among school children aged 14-15 years in the district of Kalutara, Sri Lanka

Authors:

Indrani Godakanda ,

Ministry of Health, LK
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Chrishantha Abeysena,

University of Kelaniya, LK
About Chrishantha
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine
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Ayesha Lokubalasooriya

Family Health Bureau, LK
About Ayesha
Adolescent Health Unit
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Abstract

Background: Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for NCD related global mortality. Sri Lanka is on the verge of an epidemic of NCDs. It is imperative that the pattern of physical activity is assessed among adolescents.

 

Objective: To describe the pattern of physical activity among school children aged 14-15 years in the district of Kalutara

 

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in a sample of 1795 children in government schools in the district of Kalutara. The sample was selected using a multistage cluster sampling method with probability proportionate- to the size. A total of 90 class rooms (clusters) were included and the average cluster size was 20. The pattern of physical activity was assessed using the validated Physical Activity Questionnaire-S. Moderate to vigorous physical activities for at least 60 minutes per day for ≥5 days per week were categorized as ‘sufficiently active’. Chi-squared test was applied to compare the physical activity level with selected factors.

 

Results: Only 33.1% (n=595) of the adolescents were sufficiently active. Of them, 30.6% (246/805) females and 35.1% (349/990) males were sufficiently active (p=0.04). Of the overweight adolescents, 26.7% (48/176) were sufficiently active, which was significantly different from the normal (35.1%, 412/1175) and underweight (30.4%, 135/144) groups (p=0.04). Only 13.9% (n=249) adolescents participated on three or more days a week in sport clubs, aerobics, dancing or martial art during out-of-school hours; and 66.4% (n=1195) in one or more sport clubs during the previous year. Only 4.8% (n=86) adolescents were active on three or more days during school physical exercise period and 46.8% (n=842) traveling by bicycle to school and back during the previous week. Almost 80% (n=1407) of the adolescents learnt about benefits of physical exercise; 66.2% (n=1187) to develop a plan of physical exercise to improve it; and 80% (n=1434) on injury prevention of physical exercise during the previous year from the schools.

 

Conclusions: Only 33.1% of the adolescents were sufficiently active. Males were more active than females. Participation of physical exercise activities within school and out-of-school hours was low.
How to Cite: Godakanda, I., Abeysena, C. and Lokubalasooriya, A., 2018. Pattern of physical activity among school children aged 14-15 years in the district of Kalutara, Sri Lanka. Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka, 24(2), pp.82–89. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v24i2.8178
Published on 30 Jun 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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