Levels and Determinants of Physical Activity among Students in Public Boarding Secondary Schools in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Ngahu, Lydiah Nduta
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The purpose of this study was to establish the levels and factors that determine physical activity (PA) among adolescents in public boarding secondary schools in Nairobi City County. The study was guided by the following objectives; establish PA levels and determinants of PA, assess the relationship between PA levels across sociodemographic characteristics of students and environmental profile of schools in Nairobi City County and moderating influence of PA determinants on relationship between environmental profile and PA levels. Schools were stratified as National, Extra-County and County schools; and further tabulated based on gender and level of study. Schools were randomly selected from every stratum such that, there was equal representation from boys’ and girls’ schools in every stratum. Using Fisher’s formula, a sample size of 408 students was obtained from the targetted population of 40,200 students aged 14-17 years in this study. Simple random sampling method was used to obtain the respondents in the study. The validated International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was used to determine levels of PA; while determinants of physical activity were established using the Determinant Physical Activity Questionnaire (DPAQ). A checklist was also used to collect information about status of equipment, facilities and schools PA co-curricular policy. Physical activity data were coded and organized for analysis using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 at the significant level of 0.05. Chi-square was used to determine the relationship between PA levels across school environmental profiles and students demographic characteristics. The one way ANOVA was used to compare PA levels across environmental profile of public secondary schools while pearson product moment correlation and multiple regression analysis were used to measure influence of PA determinants on the relationship between the environmental profile of school and PA levels. Results were presented as frequency counts, percentages, and in tables, charts and graphs. Most students (61.1%) were found to engage in PA of between 601-3000 METs, while 74.4% of students were moderately active achieving 1680 METs/min/week. Below half of the students (47.6%) achieved 2520 METs/min/week of the recommended PA of MVPA. A large proportion (73.9%) of students reported sitting for over seven hours and 31 minutes daily. Six determinants assessed facilitates PA such as environmental PA resources, motivation and goals while five determinants were barriers such as knowledge on current PA recommendation, social influence. Demographic characteristics of students such as gender (χ2 =35.44, p≤0.001) and school status (χ2 =21.47, p≤0.001) had a significant influence on PA levels as well as school environmental profile (F(2,388)=20.489, p≤0.001). There was a significant correlation between PA levels and school environmental profile (r=0.406, p=0.000) as well as PA determinants (r=0.183, p=0.000). The study concludes that gender, school status, environmental profile of schools and determinants of PA influence engagement in PA, determining levels of PA. The study recommends that girls, County schools, schools with poor environmental profiles, as well as barrier determinants of PA, be targetted and promoted to increase PA participation to achieve recommended MVPA levels of activity. In order to promote PA, the study strongly suggests that both, students and teachers, be made aware about the current minimal PA recommendations. In addition, it is also recommended that tailor-made progammes be developed based on the students’ needs and daily routines. The study recommends that similar studies be conducted among students in public day secondary schools, as well as students in private secondary schools for comparison purposes.