Physical activity and health related physical fitness attributes of staff members in a Kenyan Public University
Mwangi, Francis M.
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High health care service cost for employees have been documented in many institutions. The purpose of the study was to assess university staff in selected health related fitness variables and their physical activity levels. A total of 237 staff members volunteered to take part in the study. International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) short questionnaire was used to acquire physical activity information from all participants. A fitness protocol was used to record data on their health related variables; Resting heart rate (RHR), body fat percentage (%BF), blood pressure (BP) (as assessed using bioelectric impedance and an automated BP machine), and body mass index (BMI). The values rated against norms and the World Health Organization recommendations. Results showed that only 40.08% were physically active (moderate to vigorous) either inside or outside the university. 26.16% of the staff members were active in recreation activities inside the university and 28.27% were active in recreation activities outside the university. Only 41.4% recorded average or better RHR, 10.13% normal %BF, 59.07% normal to average systolic BP, 42.62% normal to average diastolic BP, and 36.3% normal BMI status. There was significant correlations between most of the variables and (p <. 05). The study concluded that majority of staff members in the institution are not physically active enough and that they are below the recommended health and fitness status. The study recommended aggressive campaign to educate the staff members on dangers of sedentary lifestyles, and the institutions to embrace prevention-based health policies to prioritize provision of fitness facilities and health promotion programs. Further studies should be done to focus on other health related variables, and cost effective benefits of staff health and fitness programs. Keywords Physical Activity, Resting Heart Rate, Blood pressure, Body Fat percentage, Body Mass Index