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Levels and Correlates of Physical Activity in Rural Ingwavuma Community, uMkhanyakude District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4001, South Africa
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6739; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186739
Received: 27 May 2020 / Revised: 27 June 2020 / Accepted: 5 July 2020 / Published: 16 September 2020
Physical activity, among others, confers cardiovascular, mental, and skeletal health benefits to people of all age-groups and health states. It reduces the risks associated with cardiovascular disease and therefore, could be useful in rural South Africa where cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden is increasing. The objective of this study was to examine levels and correlates of physical activity among adults in the Ingwavuma community in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Self-reported data on physical activity from 392 consenting adults (female, n = 265; male, n = 127) was used. We used the one-sample t-test to assess the level of physical activity and a two-level multiple linear regression to investigate the relationship between total physical activity (TPA) and independent predictors. The weekly number of minutes spent on all physical activities by members of the Ingwavuma community was 912.2; standard deviation (SD) (870.5), with males having 37% higher physical activity (1210.6 min, SD = 994.2) than females (769.2, SD = 766.3). Livelihood activities constituted 65% of TPA, and sport and recreation contributed 10%. Participants without formal education (20%), those underweight (27%), and the obese (16%) had low physical activity. Notwithstanding this, in general, the Ingwavuma community significantly exceeded the recommended weekly time on physical activity with a mean difference of 762.1 (675.8–848.6) minutes, t (391) = 17.335, p < 0.001. Gender and age were significant predictors of TPA in level 1 of the multiple regression. Males were significantly more active than females by 455.4 min (β = −0.25, p < 0.001) and participants of at least 60 years were significantly less active than 18–29-year-olds by 276.2 min (β = −0.12, p < 0.05). Gender, marital status, and health awareness were significant predictors in the full model that included education level, employment status, body mass index (BMI), and physical activity related to health awareness as predictors. The high prevalence of insufficient physical activity in some vulnerable groups, notably the elderly and obese, and the general poor participation in sport and recreation activities are worrisome. Hence we recommend health education interventions to increase awareness of and reshape sociocultural constructs that hinder participation in leisure activities. It is important to promote physical activity as a preventive health intervention and complement the pharmacological treatment of CVDs in rural South Africa. Physical activity interventions for all sociodemographic groups have potential economic gains through a reduction in costs related to the treatment of chronic CVD. View Full-Text
Keywords: cardiovascular disease; healthy ageing; Ingwavuma; KwaZulu-Natal; modifiable behaviour; physical activity; rural; South Africa cardiovascular disease; healthy ageing; Ingwavuma; KwaZulu-Natal; modifiable behaviour; physical activity; rural; South Africa
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Chikafu, H.; Chimbari, M.J. Levels and Correlates of Physical Activity in Rural Ingwavuma Community, uMkhanyakude District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6739.

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