The relationship between leisure-time physical activity and health parameters in executive employees of selected African countries
Monyeki, Makama Andries
Strydom, Gert Lukas
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Leisure-time physical inactivity is a global public health concern affecting all people in different walks of life, including employees. This inactivity is associated with chronic diseases of lifestyle as well as low work capacity. The purpose of this study were twofold: to determine leisure-time physical activity- (LTPA), coronary risk-, health- and lifestyle profiles of some executive employees in selected African countries; and to determine the relationship between leisure-time physical activity and health related parameters in executive employees of selected African countries. A cross-sectional study design was used on a group of 156 (mean age 41.22±10.17 years) available executive employees. Participants were grouped according to age (<35 years; 36-46 years and > 46 years). Standardised questionnaires were used to collect data. Out of the156 participants in the study, 42.9% occupied top level management and 57.1% middle level management posts. When data were analysed according to age groups, 31% and 68.6% in the less than 35 years age group were in the top and the middle levels management respectively. In the age group 36 to 46 years of age 47% occupied the top level management posts and 52.8% occupied the middle level management positions. With regard to LTPA, top level managers (71.6%) scored low LTPA compared to middle level managers (62.9%). Top level managers scored higher percentages (14.9%) for developing the risk of coronary heart diseases. The results show a negative relationship between physical activity and selected health parameters, with significant negative relationships between low LTPA and daily habitual index (r= -0.52; p=0.01), and moderate LTPA and daily habitual index (r= -0.71; p<0.001) for middle level managers. It can be concluded that both top and middle level managers exhibited low LTPA and high risk for developing coronary heart disease. It was apparent that the managers in with low LTPA are prone to bad stages of life style, health status and coronary risk- indexes compared to the ones with moderate and high LTPA. Additionally, low and moderate LTPA inversely affected selected health parameters of executive employees. No significant association was found for high LTPA with selected health parameters. The study therefore recommends a strategic intervention programme geared towards improving the present state of affairs among the managers in the corporate environment.
- Faculty of Health Sciences