Prevalence and correlates of physical activity among female and male adolescents and adults in South Africa
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This study examined the prevalence, demographic and health correlates of physical activity levels among youth and adults in South Africa.Cross-sectional data from the South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES-1) 2012 were analyzed. This involved a total sample of 14815 persons aged 15 years and
older with complete physical activity measurement (mean age=36.9, SD=16.5). Physical activity was the outcome variable. Exposures were demographic, behavioural and health variables. The distribution of physical activity was as follows: 48.2% low, 17.4% moderate and 34.4% high physical activity. In multivariate models, both men and women, younger age, rural residence, unemployment, problem drinking and not having fast foods were associated with vigorous physical activity. In addition, gender differences were observed. Among men, current tobacco use, high cholesterol and having posttraumatic symptoms were positively associated with vigorous physical activity meanwhile being White was negatively associated with vigorous physical activity. Among women, poor self-rated health status and sleep problems were positively associated with vigorous physical activity while having hypertension, stroke, and being Indian or Asian were negatively associated with vigorous physical activity. The results can be used to guide future intervention strategies aimed at increasing physical activity patterns among the adolescent and adult population in South Africa.