Pattern, prevalence, and perceived personal barriers toward physical activity among adult Saudis in Al-Hassa, KSA

J Phys Act Health. 2011 Aug;8(6):775-84. doi: 10.1123/jpah.8.6.775.


Objectives: To determine patterns of physical activity (PA) along domains of work-transport-leisure among adult Saudis, sociodemographic correlates of PA and perceived personal barriers to leisure-time-related physical inactivity in Al-Hassa, KSA.

Methods: A cross-sectional study in which 2176 adult Saudis attending urban and rural Primary Health centers were selected using multistage proportionate sampling method. Participants were personally interviewed to gather information regarding sociodemographics, PA pattern using Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ), and perceived barriers toward recreation-related PA. Analysis was carried out along GPAQ protocol.

Results: Median total physical activity was 2304 METs-minutes/week. Fifty-two percent of subjects were sufficiently active meeting the minimum recommendations when considering total PA and 21% of the subjects were sufficiently active in leisure-time-related activity with ≥ 5 days of any combination of walking, moderate or vigorous-intensity activities with a total of at least 600 METs-minutes/week. Regression analyses showed that females, higher educational and occupational status were negative predictors to total and leisure-related PA. Barriers perceived toward leisure-related PA included weather, traditions, lack of facilities and time.

Conclusion: A low PA pattern along the 3 domains of PA may impose a reflection toward more sedentary life style in Saudi Arabia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cities
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Demography
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Health
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult