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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-17

Levels of physical inactivity in rural and urban Tamil Nadu, India: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Community Health, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Anu Mary Oommen
Department of Community Health, Christian Medical College, Bagayam, Vellore - 632 002, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JCPC.JCPC_32_18

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Background and Objectives: Physical inactivity is an important cardiovascular risk factor. This study assessed the prevalence and factors associated with insufficient physical activity (PA) in urban and rural Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India, among adults aged 30–64 years. Methodology: A cross-sectional World Health Organization STEPS survey was carried out in 48 wards of Vellore Municipality and nine rural villages of Tamil Nadu in 2010–2012. Adults (n = 6164, men 43.9%) aged 30–64 years were interviewed using the Global PA Questionnaire (2390 urban and 3774 rural). Insufficient PA was defined as not meeting the recommendation of 150 min of moderate aerobic PA, or 75 min of vigorous aerobic PA, or an equivalent combination, achieving at least 600 metabolic equivalent-minutes per day. Results: The prevalence of insufficient PA was 63.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 61.3%–65.3%) in the urban area and 40.6% (95% CI: 39.0%–42.2%) in the rural area. Women had a higher prevalence of insufficient PA compared to men, in both urban (70.8% vs. 53.8%) and rural (44.5% vs. 35.6%) areas. Those with higher education (odds ratio [OR]: 1.36, 95% CI: 1.20–1.53) and who were unemployed (OR: 2.97, 95% CI: 2.59–3.39) reported insufficient PA which was significantly higher than their counterparts. While urban participants had higher leisure time PA, rural participants had higher work- and travel-related PA. Conclusions: The high prevalence of insufficient PA found in this study shows that targeted interventions are needed to reduce insufficient PA, especially for women and urban populations.

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