Prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of accelerometer measured physical activity levels of school-going children in Kampala city, Uganda
Wachira, Lucy-Joy M.
Oyeyemi, Adewale L.
Onywera, Vincent O.
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The current international physical activity guidelines for health recommend children to engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily. Yet, accurate prevalence estimates of physical activity levels of children are unavailable in many African countries due to the dearth of accelerometer-measured physical activity data. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence and examine the socio-demographic correlates of accelerometer- measured physical activity among school-going children in Kampala city, Uganda. Methods A cross-sectional study design was used to recruit a sample of 10–12 years old schoolgoing children (n = 256) from 7 primary schools (3 public schools and 4 private schools) in Kampala city, Uganda. Sedentary time, light-intensity physical activity (LPA), moderateintensity physical activity (MPA) and vigorous-intensity physical activity (VPA) were measured by accelerometers (ActiGraph GT3X+ [Pensacola, Florida, USA]) over a seven-day period. Socio-demographic factors were assessed by a parent/guardian questionnaire. Weight status was generated from objectively measured height and weight and computed as body mass index (BMI). Multi-level logistic regressions identified socio-demographic factors that were associated with meeting physical activity guidelines. Results Children’s sedentary time was 9.8±2.1 hours/day and MVPA was 56±25.7 minutes/day. Only 36.3% of the children (38.9% boys, 34.3% girls) met the physical activity guidelines. Boys, thin/normal weight and public school children had significantly higher mean daily MVPA levels. Socio-demographic factors associated with odds of meeting physical activityguidelines were younger age (OR = 0.68; 95% CI = 0.55–0.84), thin/normal weight status (OR = 4.08; 95% CI = 1.42–11.76), and socioeconomic status (SES) indicators such as lower maternal level of education (OR = 2.43; 95% CI = 1.84–3.21) and no family car (OR = 0.31; 95% CI = 0.17–0.55). Conclusion Children spent a substantial amount of time sedentary and in LPA and less time in MVPA. Few children met the physical activity guidelines. Lower weight status, lower maternal education level and no family car were associated with meeting physical activity guidelines. Effective interventions and policies to increase physical activity among school-going children in Kampala, are urgently needed.