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, 61 (3), 253-8

[Physical Inactivity in Croatia]

[Article in Croatian]
  • PMID: 17629099

[Physical Inactivity in Croatia]

[Article in Croatian]
Marjeta Misigoj-Duraković et al. Acta Med Croatica.


Aim: This paper is part of the study entitled Geographical Distribution of Cardiovascular Risks in Croatia, conducted by the Academy of Medical Sciences of Croatia in 2003. The aim of this paper is to identify data from the study concerning physical activity. The overall prevalence of physical inactivity and its distribution according to age, sex and region is presented.

Methods: Study sample consisted of 12450 people older than 18, representative of the Croatian population. Only free living individuals were included in the study. Data were collected by use of questionnaires. As part of the questionnaires, 3 components of physical activity were investigated: physical activity regarding getting to work, work itself, and leisure time. The level of physical activity was set at 30 minutes at least 3 times a week for each component of physical activity.

Results: In Croatia, 35.8% of the population are physically inactive. Physical inactivity is higher in men than in women (43.7% vs 30%). Considering spatial distribution, physical inactivity is most prominent in Zagreb, where as many as 85.6% of men and 45.2% of women are inactive. On the other hand, the level of physical inactivity is lowest in south Croatia in men, and in central Croatia in women (14.8% and 20.8%). Considering leisure time physical activity, results are even more concerning. As many as 56.5% of men and 47.6% women are inadequately physically active during their leisure time. In men it ranges from 21.5% in south Croatia to 88.6% in Zagreb, and in women from 33.5% in central Croatia trough 60.8% in Zagreb. As for age distribution, physical inactivity is most prevalent (74.8%) in the youngest age group (18-34 years). Such a high level of inactivity is mostly attributable to the inactivity level in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, where almost 95% of the young population are considered to be inactive. In the oldest age group (over 65) inactivity is distributed more evenly with levels higher than 50% in most regions (overall 56.4%). Middle-aged group is the most active one (44.1% of them are inactive), with levels lower than 50% in all regions but Zagreb.

Discussion: This study showed worryingly high levels of physical inactivity. Emphasis should be put on physical inactivity during leisure time because it is the most important indicator of an unhealthy way of life. Unfortunately, we can not compare our data on this component of physical activity with other studies because our data on free time physical activity encompass household activities with sport-recreation activities, which is not always of proper intensity for health benefit. Nevertheless, it is obvious from the data on Zagreb

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