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International Journal of Public Health and Clinical Sciences (IJPHCS)
Open Access e-journal ISSN : 2289-7577


Zulkhairul Naim, Khairul Anwar, Abdul Rahman, Nur Zuliani



Background: Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality and led to 3.2 million deaths per year. Physical inactivity is also one of the global public health burdens in both developed and developing countries. Physical inactivity will lead to various non-communicable health consequences such as increased risk of high blood pressure, cancer, cholesterol and etc. Based on National Health and Morbidity Survey 3 in 2008, the prevalence of physical inactivity among Malaysian adults was 43.7%. Studies showed that medical students had low physical activity and did not meet recommended physical activity. The objectives of this study were to estimate the prevalence of physical inactivity among medical students and non-medical students in University Malaysia Sabah associated demographic factors.

Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study with a total participation of 300 University Malaysia Sabah’s undergraduate students (100 medical students and 200 non-medical students) was done.  The research instruments were questionnaires that contain information about socio-demographic as well as International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) short form to assess physical activity level.

Result: 49% of medical students were physically inactive compared to 35% non-medical students, OR 1.79 (95% CI 1.10, 2.91) which was statistically significant. 44% and 30% of female and male students were physically inactive respectively. After adjusted for socio-demographic cofounders, gender and year of study were found to be confounders that associated with physical inactivity.

Conclusion: The prevalence of physical inactivity among medical students was higher compared to non-medical students and physical inactivity was found higher in female students.  Further investigation is required to assess physical inactivity among medical students as they are the future health care providers.

Keywords: Physical inactivity; university students; IPAQ; MET

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