Prevalence of physical activity among adults in a metropolitan Nigerian city: a cross-sectional study

J Epidemiol. 2013;23(3):169-77. doi: 10.2188/jea.je20120116. Epub 2013 Apr 20.


Background: Baseline information on physical activity is relevant to controlling the epidemic of chronic noncommunicable diseases occurring in many African countries. However, standardized data on physical activity are lacking in Nigeria. We assessed the prevalence of physical activity and its relationships with sociodemographic characteristics in a subnational sample of Nigerian adults.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among a representative sample of 934 adults (age, 20-82 years) living in metropolitan Maiduguri, Nigeria. Physical activity was measured using the validated Nigerian version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (Hausa IPAQ-SF). Using the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline, participants were classified as sufficiently active or insufficiently active. Sociodemographic correlates of sufficient physical activity were identified using multinomial logistic regression.

Results: Overall, 68.6% of Nigerian adults were sufficiently active. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in prevalence of physical activity between men (68.0%) and women (69.3%), but physical activity tended to decrease with increasing age category, especially among men. Physical activity prevalence was positively associated with being married (OR = 1.52, CI = 1.04-4.37) and blue collar work (OR = 2.19, CI = 1.16-4.12) and negatively associated with car ownership (OR = 0.38, CI = 0.17-0.86) and higher income (OR = 0.54, CI = 0.10-0.95).

Conclusions: The prevalence of physical activity varied between sociodemographic subgroups of Nigerian adults; thus, public health policies and interventions based on ecologic models of health behaviors may be warranted in promoting physical activity in Nigeria.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cities
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult