The relationship between health risk behaviour and physical activity among High School learners in the Mtwarra region, Tanzania
Physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for major non-communicable diseases, which contribute substantially to the global burden of chronic diseases, disability and death.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between participation in physical activity and health risk behaviour among high school students in the Mtwarra region, in the United Republic of Tanzania.
A descripti ve quanti tative study design was used whereby a stratifi ed sample of the high school students, which included male and female students between the ages of 17 to 26 years. A self administered questionnaire was used following written participant and parental consent. The study measured health risk behaviour such as alcohol use, smoking cigarettes, drug abuse, sedentary lifestyle and sexual behaviour. Quantitative data was captured and analyzed using SAS 9.1 and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 13.0 programmes. The Kruskal- Wallis` test was used to test the means between variables and the Spearman correlation coefficient test was utilized to test associations between variables related to health risk behaviour and demograp hic variables.
Results and Discussion:
Two hundred high school students with a mean age of 20.47 (SD=1.493) participated in this study. Of the total number of participants, 67% was not participating in physical activity. Furthermore, 26% smoked cigarettes, 93% consumed alcohol, 9.5% used drugs and 93% was involved in risky sexual behaviours. The study identified relationships between participation inphysical activity and health risk behaviours. The youth involved in risky behaviours like consuming alcoholic drinks and smoking cigarettes were less physically active.
The results of this study provide valuable information to relevant policymakers and stakeholders for the implementation of physical activity programmes in schools of the Mtwarra region, in the United Republic of Tanzania.
Booth, M. (2000). Assessment of physical activity: An
international perspe ctive. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 71:114-120
Corbin, C.B. and Pangrazi, R.P. (1994). Towards an Understanding of Appropriate Physical Activity Levels for Youth. At: http://www.fitness.gov/activity/activity6/toward/toward. html
Kann, L. (2000). Health education in schools. Retrieved June 13, 2006. At: http://cs upomona.edu/¬jvgrizzel_/best_practices/hp2010_obj85.htm
Frantz, J.M. (2005). Physiotherapy in management in Non-Communicable Diseases: Facing the
Challenge. SA Journal of Physiotherapy, Vol 61 no.2 p.1-3
French, S., Perry, C., Leon, G. and Fulkerson, J. (1994).
Weight concerns, dieting behaviour, and smoking initiation among adolescents: A Prospective study. American Journal of Public Health 84: 1818-1820
Jessor, R. (1991). Risk behaviour in adolescents: A Psychologica l Frame work for Understanding and Action. Journal of Adolescent Health 12: 597-605
Killen, J., Robinson, T. and Hayde l, K. (1997). Prospective study of risk factors for the initiation of cigarette smoking. Journal of Consultative Clinical Psychology 65: 1011-1016.
Masau, F.B. and Makene, V.W. (2004). Incidence of Cardiovascular diseases at Tanzania Health Institute Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Muscari. M. (1999). Prevention: Are we really reaching today`s teens? The American Journ al of Maternal/Child Nursing 24:87-91
Phillips, J. (2001). Recreational activities of high school
learners in the Strand. Unpublished Masters Thesis. University of the Western Cape.
Swai, A.B., Mclart, D.G., Kitange, H.M., Kilima, P.M., Tatalla, S., Keen, N., Chuwa, L.M. and Albert, K.G. (1993). Low prevalence of risk factors for coronary heart disease in rural Tanzanian.
International Journal of Epidemiology 22: 649-651
Tanzania GSHS Questionnaire (2004) www.cdc.gov/gshs or www.who.int/school_youth_health/gshs
Tengia-Kessy, A., Msamanga, G.L and Moshiro, C.S. (1998). Assessmen t of behavioura l risk factors associated with HIV infection among youth in Moshi rural district, Tanzania. East African Medical. 75 (9):528-32
World Health Organization (2002a). Reducing risks, promoting healthy life. Geneva: World Health Organization
World Health Organization (2002b). Physical Activity in Youth. “ Move for Health” World Health Day 2002. Retrieved April 30, 2006, from http ://www.who .int/archieves /world -he alt h-d ay/ fac t_sheets2.en.shtml
World Health Organization (2003c). How much physical activity is needed to improve and maintain health: Non communicab le disease prevention and health promotion. Retrieved April 30,2006, At:http:// www.who.int/hpr/physactiv/pa.how.much.sht ml.
World Health Report. (2002). Reducing Risks: Promoting Healthy Life. World Health Organization. Geneva
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.