Status of Participation in Physical Activity by Employees in Kenyan Universities at Onsite Fitness Centers in Kenya
Physical activity plays a critical role in preventing and reducing risks of many diseases while at the same time maintaining physical and mental health. On the contrary, physical inactivity has been found to be one of the four modifiable risk factors that potentially predispose individuals to Non-communicable diseases (NCDs). To curb the negative social and financial implications associated with NCDs, many corporate organizations, as well as universities, are offering furnished wellness centers to their employees. This paper is based on a study that aimed at establishing the status of participation in physical activity (PA) at onsite fitness centers among Kenyan university employees. A cross-sectional analytical design was used to examine 499 employees from two institutions (a private and public university) that were purposefully selected on the basis of their well-equipped physical fitness facilities. University employees were randomly stratified according to their, age, gender, type of university and designation (non-teaching, teaching and management staff), while respondents in each stratum were selected using systematic random sampling technique. Data was collected using a closed-ended questionnaire which was administered to respondents in both universities. The employees’ level of participation in PA was summarised using descriptive statistics. Mann–Whitney U and Kruskal Wallis tests were used to analyse differences in percentages of maximum possible scores with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0. It was found that 25% of the employees were physically active while 75% were physically inactive (Mean = 38.20) in relation to use of onsite fitness centres. The most active group were employees below the age of 30 years. Both male and female employees recorded a similar status in participation in PA which was low. There was a significant difference in the status of participation in PA between the two universities (p < .001). This paper recommends that university employees need to take up the opportunity provided by their employers to use the available fitness facilities so as to accumulate the desired daily physical activity amount of at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous PA. This is meant to support their physical and mental health needed for their work performance. By the same token, the paper recommends that university administrators should look into strategies that would promote use of onsite fitness centres by the employees so as to increase participation in PA and consequently prevent occurrence of NCDs while promoting productivity at work.
Agha, S. ., & Al-Dabbagh, S. . (2010). WHO EMRO | Level of physical activity among teaching and support staff in the education sector in Dohuk, Iraq | Volume 16, issue 12 | EMHJ volume 16, 2010. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 16(12), 1278–1284.
Biernat, E. (2015). Factors Increasing the Risk Of Inactivity Among Administrative , Technical , And Manual Workers in Warszawa Public Institutions, 28(2).
Brown, W. J., & Bauman, A. E. (2000). Comparison of estimates of population levels of physical activity using two measures. Aust N Z J Public Health, 24(5), 520-525.
Cheah, Y. K., & Poh, B. K. (2014). The Determinants of Participation in Physical Activity in Malaysia. Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives, 5(1), 20–27. doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2013.12.002
Chodzko-Zajko WJ, Proctor D, Fiatarone Singh M, et al (2009). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and physical activity for older adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc (41), 1510–30
Cooper, K., & Barton, G. C. (2016). An exploration of physical activity and wellbeing in university employees. Perspectives in Public Health, 136(3), 152–160. http://doi.org/10.1177/1757913915593103
Eibl, G., Cruz-Monserrate, Z., Korc, M., Petrov, M.S., Goodarzi, M.O., Fisher W. E., & Andersen, D.K. (2018). Diabetes Mellitus and Obesity as Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic, 118(4) 555-567 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2017.07.005
Fountaine, C., Piacentini, M., & Liguori, G. (2014). Occupational Sitting and Physical Activity Among University Employees. International Journal of Exercise Science, 7(4), 295–301. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol7/iss4/5
Grimani, A.,Aboagye, E., Kwak, L., (2019). The Effectiveness of Work Place Nutrition and Physical Activity Interventions for Improving Productictivity and Workability: A Systematic Review.BMC Public Health. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-019-8033-1
Haskell, W. L., Lee, I. M., Pate, R. R., Powell, K. E., Blair, S. N., Franklin, B. A., Bauman, A. (2007). Physical activity and public health: Updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart.National Center for Biotechnology Information, Rockvile Pike, Bethesda.
Masterson Creber, R. M., Fleck, E., Liu, J., Rothenberg, G., Ryan, B., & Bakken, S. (2017). Identifying the Complexity of Multiple Risk Factors for Obesity Among Urban Latinas. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 19(2), 275–284. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-016-0433-z
Mckinney, J., Lithwick, D. J., Morrison, B. N., Nazzari, H., Isserow, S. H., Heilbron, B., … Krahn, A. D. (2016). The health benefits of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness. Bc Medical Journal, 58(3), 131–137. Retrieved from http://www.bcmj.org/sites/default/files/BCMJ_Vol58_No_3_cardiorespiratory_fitness.pdf
Muthuri,S.K, Francis, C.E.,Wachira,L-J.M, Leblanc, A.G, Sampson, M, Onywera, V.O, Trembly, M.S.(2014) Evidence of an Overweight/Obesity Transition among School-Aged Children and Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Reviewhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3968060/
Mwangi, F. M., Rintaugu, E. G., Mwangi, F. M., & Rintaugu, E. G. (2017). Physical Activity and Health Related Physical Fitness Attributes of Staff Members in a Kenyan Public University. International Journal of Sports Science, 7(2), 81–86.
Parry, S. ,Straker, L.(2013). The Contribution of Office Work to Sedentary Behaviour Associated Risk. BMC Public Health. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-13-296
Popkin, B.M. (2015). Nutrition Transition and Global Diabetes Epidemic.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2018. Geneva: World Health Organisation.
Reiner, M., Niermann, C., Jekauc, D., & Woll, A. (2013). Long-term health benefits of physical activity--a systematic review of longitudinal studies. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 813. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-813
So, W.-Y., Yoo, B.-W., & Sung, D. J. (2016). The Relationship between Occupational Status and Physical Activity in Korea. Social Work in Public Health, 31(6), 490–497. https://doi.org/10.1080/19371918.2016.1160332
Townsend N, Wickramasinghe K, Williams J, Bhatnagar P, R. M. (2015). PHYSICAL ACTIVITY STATISTICS 2015. London.
Umeifekwem, J. E., & Onyechi, K. C. (2014). Assessment of Physical Activity ( PA ) Readiness and Participation among Staff in Nigerian Universities. Journal of Education and Practice, 5(27), 122–129. Retrieved from http://iiste.org/Journals/index.php/JEP/article/viewFile/15977/16316
World Health Organization (2010). Global recommendations on Physical Activity for Health. https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/global-PA-recs-2010.pdf
World Health Organization, 2018. Benefits of Physical Activity and Risk of Insufficient Physical Activity.https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity#:
World Health Organization, (2020). Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health.https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/pa/en/