Determinants of Participation in Physical Activity in On-Site Fitness Centres: the Case of Employees at Kenyatta University and Africa Nazarene University, Kenya.
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Many institutions have invested in health and fitness facilities with the aim of promoting productivity and reducing escalating healthcare cost associated with conditions that result from physical inactivity amongst employees. However, the reported uptake of these services is quite low. This study analysed the determinants of participation in physical activity in on-site fitness centres among employees of Kenyatta University and Africa Nazarene University in Kenya. A cross-sectional analytical design was used to guide the study that targeted 3516 members of staff employed on a permanent or contract basis in the two institutions. A sample of 537 respondents was calculated using Krejcie and Morgan‟s formula and 10% was added to cater for attrition and unforeseen response. The two institutions were purposively selected to represent institutions with well-equipped fitness centres which render services to their staff members, students and the surrounding communities, as well as to represent public and private institutions. Stratified random sampling was used to come up with three strata (management, teaching staff and non-teaching staff) since the population did not constitute a homogeneous group. Systematic sampling was used to sample the participants in the different strata. A closed-ended questionnaire, an interview guide and observation checklist were used for data collection. The content validity of the questionnaire was validated by the experts from the department of Recreation Management and Exercise Science of Kenyatta University. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 was used for data coding and analysis. Descriptive statistics, Mann–Whitney U test and the Kruskal–Wallis one-way analysis of variance were used to analyse data at.05 level of significance. Kruskal Wallis Post hoc test was used to test any significant differences after significant H-tests. The study found that some university employees (25%) were physically active and 75% were less physically active (M = 38.20). There was a significant difference in the status of participation in PA between the two universities (p < 0.001). The Mann–Whitney U test results showed that there were significant differences in the psychological (p <.001), environmental (p <.001), health (p =.001), employment (p =.001) and operational (p <.001) determinants of participation in PA in on-site fitness centres in the two universities. The Kruskal Wallis test showed significant differences in the emotional (p = .023), psychological (p = .021), environmental (p = .004) and operational (p = .001) determinants of participation in PA in on-site fitness centres across different job categories. The Binary Logistics Regression analysis showed the self-rating (p = .001), health (p = .001) and the operational (p = .007) determinants to be the significant predictor variables. Based on the study findings, this study concluded that majority of employees are not physically active in the on-site fitness centres and that self-rating , health and operational determinants made a significant contribution in predicting participation in PA. It was, therefore, recommended that the on-site fitness centres should have a system of compensating for unused days one would have paid for but missed. The university employees should be educated to be concerned about their wellbeing and the need of spending some time engaging in physical activity, and that fitness packages should be equally available for all employees.