Patterns of physical activity and its correlation with gender, body mass index among medical students

Chetana P. Hadimani, Shruti S. Kulkarni, Avinash K. Math, Shivalingappa B. Javali


Background: The public health burden of a sedentary lifestyle has been recognized globally. Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor in global mortality. Medical professionals have a significant role in counselling patients so as to reach the public health goals. The objectives were to evaluate patterns of physical activity comprising work, transport, domestic and leisure domains and its correlation with gender and body mass index (BMI) among medical students.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 128 medical students. The international physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ) long form was used to measure total physical activity (PA) and metabolic equivalent (MET). BMI was calculated using height and weight. Data analyzed by SPSS version 20.

Results: It was observed that the PA was low among medical students. As per MET score, 80.5%, 58.6%, 67.2% and 39% of students had a low PA pattern in domains of work, transport, domestic and leisure time respectively. The practice of domestic and leisure activity was significantly lower among female students compared to males with p-values of <0.009 and 0.005. The association between PA score and its domains with BMI of students was found to be not significant. In female students a significant positive relationship was observed between domestic and BMI scores with r =0.3459, p<0.005.

Conclusions: Medical students in this study were insufficiently physically active. The practice of activity was intensely lower in females compared to males. These results reflect us the crucial need for intervention on students’ health promotion strategies.


Body mass index, Healthy lifestyle, Medical students, Physical activity

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