Health-enhancing physical activity among university students in nine ASEAN countries
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The aim of the study was to investigate health-enhancing physical activity (PA) among university students in ASEAN countries. Using anonymous questionnaires, data were collected from 8,709 (37.7% male and 62.3% female) university students (Mean age 20.6, SD=2.0) from nine ASEAN countries. They were assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (short version), and measures of sociodemographic, health status, cognitive and behavioural factors. Results indicate that 52.2% of the total sample engaged in health-enhancing PA, 34.7% moderate and 17.5% high health-enhancing PA. In multinomial logistic regression analyses, being male, having a poorer family background, and living in an upper middle or high income country, a better subjective health status, perceived exercise health benefits and adequate consumption of vegetables and fruits and avoidance of fat and cholesterol was positively associated with both moderate and high PA. Measured underweight was inversely associated with moderate PA, and perceived overweight was inversely associated with high PA. No current tobacco use and not binge drinking were associated with moderate PA, and binge drinking was marginally associated with high PA. Engaging in health-enhancing PA is moderately common in this sample of university students from ASEAN and several influencing factors were identified that could
inform strategies to promote health-enhancing PA.