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Open Access May 22, 2022 Endnote/Zotero/Mendeley (RIS) BibTeX

Prevalence and predictors of physical activity among female high school students in The Gambia: an institutional-based cross-sectional study

Abstract Background: Everyone, irrespective of age, sex, colour, ethnicity, or present overall fitness level, can benefit from regular exercise. To improve one's health, one must engage in regular physical activity. People with underlying illnesses like long-term impairment can benefit from regular physical activity at the individual level, especially young women. Thus, the current study aimed to [...] Read more.
Background: Everyone, irrespective of age, sex, colour, ethnicity, or present overall fitness level, can benefit from regular exercise. To improve one's health, one must engage in regular physical activity. People with underlying illnesses like long-term impairment can benefit from regular physical activity at the individual level, especially young women. Thus, the current study aimed to assess the prevalence and determinants of physical activity among female school-aged adolescents in the West Coast Region of The Gambia. Methods: The present study used an institutional-based cross-sectional analytical study to collect quantitative data from 384 female high school students in The Gambia. The study used a content-validated, pretested structured questionnaire that consisted of both open and closed-ended questions on physical activity. The data were processed and analyzed using IBM SPSS version 26.0. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square and/or Fisher exact test were used with a p-value <0.15 for inclusion in the logistic regression model. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated, while p-value <0.05 was considered for statistical significance. Results: The proportion of female students involved in physical activity was 37.5%. The mean age of students was 18.8 years with a standard deviation of 1.7 years. Factors such as female students between 17 – 20 years (aOR:3.05, 95% C.I. (1.807 – 5.138)), father never been to school (aOR: 2.82, 95% C.I. (1.495 – 5.334)), primary education (aOR: 2.15, 95% C.I. (1.027 – 4.493)), upper basic school (aOR: 2.31, 95% C.I. (1.055 – 5.074)) and science major students (aOR: 2.21, 95% C.I. (1.203 – 4.047)) had increased odds of involving in PA. Furthermore, students who knew that exercise would strengthen bones (aOR: 2.62, 95% C.I (1.444 – 4.739)), do a planned brisk walking (aOR: 19.16, 95% C.I. (6.698 – 54.811)), basketball/football (aOR: 29.76, 95% C.I. (10.004 – 88.512)) and skipping with rope (aOR: 29.15, 95% C.I. (9.726 – 87.333)) had increased odds to involved in PA after controlling for confounders. Other factors such as students whose mother never been to school (aOR: 0.31, 95% C.I. (0.140 – 0.674)), primary level (aOR: 0.25, 95% C.I. (0.123 – 0.518)), senior secondary level (aOR: 0.42, 95% C.I. (0.189 – 0.935)), nuclear family (aOR: 0.23, 95% C.I. (0.119 – 0.458)) and extended family (aOR: 0.45, 95% C.I. (0.225 – 0.915)) had reduced odds of involving in PA. Conclusion: There is low physical activity among female adolescents in schools. For this, it is imperative that suitable interventions be implemented to raise the level of physical activity among secondary school students. A future intervention for school-aged adolescents could benefit from these findings.
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Keyword:   Mansour Badjie

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