Prevalence of physical inactivity in Saudi Arabia: a brief review

East Mediterr Health J. 2004 Jul-Sep;10(4-5):663-70.


Major lifestyle changes in recent years in Saudi Arabia may be leading to physical inactivity and a low level of physical fitness. This paper reviews the current literature about physical inactivity in the Saudi Arabian population and discusses its implications for health. Available data from a small number of studies suggests a high prevalence (43.3%-99.5%) of physical inactivity among Saudi children and adults alike. Furthermore, the proportion of Saudi children and adults who are at risk due to inactivity is much higher than for any other coronary heart disease risk factor. It is recommended that a national policy encouraging activity in daily life be established and more studies are carried out to address physical activity patterns with representative samples of the Saudi Arabian population.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease / etiology
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / complications
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Physical Fitness
  • Population Dynamics
  • Prevalence
  • Public Health
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Smoking / adverse effects