Introduction: Physical activity (PA) has both short- and long-term importance. In this study we sought to assess the prevalence and correlates of PA among 1,542 Senior High School (SHS) students.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Ghana among SHS students using the 2012 version of the Ghana Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) data, which utilised two-stage cluster sampling technique. The population for the study comprised SHS students. The outcome variable was physical activity. The data were analysed using STATA version 14.2 for Mac OS. Both bivariate and multivariate analyses were employed. At the bivariate level, Pearson chi-square test between each independent variable and PA was conducted and the level of statistical significance was set at 5%. All the significant variables from the chi-square test were selected for the multivariate analysis. In the multivariate analysis, Poisson regression with robust variance was performed to estimate crude and adjusted prevalence ratios (APR).
Results: It was found that 25.0% (29.0% males and 21.9% females) of SHS students were physically active. Female students (APR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.65, 0.94), students in SHS 2 (APR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.577, 0.941) and SHS3 (APR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.63, 0.93), and those who went hungry (APR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.65, 0.92) were less likely to be physically active compared to males, those in SHS1 and those who did not go hungry respectively. On the other hand, students who actively commuted to school (APR = 2.40, 95% CI = 1.72, 2.42) and got support from their peers were more likely to be physically active (APR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.09–2.41).
Conclusion: Only a quarter of SHS students who participated in the 2012 version of the GSHS met the WHO’s recommended level of physical activity. Sex, grade/form and experience of hunger are associated with physical activity. Physical activity is a major component of any health promotion program. Policies and programmes targeting improvement in physical activity among SHS students should take these associated factors into consideration.
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© 2020 Seidu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.