Factors Associated with Physical Activity in South Africa: Evidence from a National Population Based Survey



Lungelo Mlangeni1, *, Lehlogonolo Makola2, Inbarani Naidoo2, Buyisile Chibi2, Zinhle Sokhela2, Zola Silimfe2, Musawenkosi Mabaso2
1 Department of Psychology, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, 238 Mazisi Kunene Road, Glenwood, Durban, 4041, South Africa
1 HIV/AIDS, STIs and TB Research Programme, Human Sciences Research Council, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Durban, 4001, South Africa

Abstract

Background:

The health benefits of regular physical activity and exercise have been widely acknowledged. Yet physical inactivity remains an issue in South Africa. This study examines factors associated with physical activity amongst South Africans.

Methods:

This analysis used the 2012 nationally representative population-based household survey conducted using a multi-stage stratified cluster sampling design. Multinomial bivariate and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine whether physical activity is significantly influenced by socio-demographic and lifestyle related characteristics.

Results:

Out of 26339 individuals, 57.4 % (CI: 55.9-59) were not physically active, 14.8 % (CI: 13.6-16) were moderately physically active, and 27.8 % (CI: 26.6-29.1) were vigorously physically active. Relative to those who reported physical inactivity, having higher education and being of a higher socioeconomic status increased the likelihood of engaging in moderate physical activity. Increasing age, being female, and living in informal settlements decreased the likelihood of engaging in moderate physical activity. Increasing age, being female, being married, being from rural formal settlements, and having poorer self-rated health reduced the likelihood of engaging in vigorous physical activity.

Conclusion:

The findings suggest that there is a need for health promotion efforts targeting particular groups from selected socio-demographic strata including unhealthy individuals and those from disadvantaged communities.

Keywords: Cross-sectional design, Epidemiology, Nationally representative, Physical activity, Population-based, Survey.


Abstract Information


Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2018
Volume: 11
Publisher Item Identifier: EA-TOPHJ-2018-75

Article History:

Received Date: 08/10/2018
Revision Received Date: 01/11/2018
Acceptance Date: 12/11/2018
Electronic publication date: 26/11/2018
Collection year: 2018

© 2018 Mlangeni et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Correspondence: Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Psychology, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, 238 Mazisi Kunene Road, Glenwood, Durban, 4041, South Africa; E-mail: mlangenil@ukzn.ac.za