Physical activity levels in relation to the health of adults in the Sekyere East District of Ashanti, Ghana

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Regular physical activity has long been regarded as an important component of health. There is substantial scientific evidence linking regular physical activity to a variety of physical and mental health benefits. In Ghana there is virtually no documented information on the level of physical activity and how it relates to the health of adults. This study was therefore carried out to assess the impact of physical activity on health. The main objective of the study was to assess the impact of physical activity on health of adults in the Sekyere East district of Ashanti Region. The study was a cross-sectional study using quantitative research methods. It examined why people do or do not take part in sports, the role of the school in promoting physical activity and the relationship between physical activity and health. The study made use primary data. Out patients were interviewed using structured interviews. Self-administered questionnaires were given out to the Effiduasi hospital management and staff of the Education service .The out-patients sample size was 100, that of the management was six and that of the Education service was also six. The patients were interviewed using systematic random sampling. In the case of management convenience sampling, where those who happened to be present at the time of data collection were given the questionnaire. In the case of the staff of the education service purposive sampling was used where people who are solely responsible for the plaiming and supervision of the education system were given the questionnaire. The analysis of the data was done at the end of data collection. The responses were grouped and categorized on the basis of information provided. The results obtained was then tabulated and keyed into a computer from which tables were made. The results of the study show that majority of the respondents perceive physical activity as helpful to health and also majority of the respondents are motivated to participate in physical activities. It is recommended that individuals should be self motivated to take part in physical activity programmes, and organizations are advised to form Keep Fit clubs. It is also recommended also that physical activity does not have to be punishing to be beneficial. The emphasis should be on exercise of moderate intensity, you don’t have to be soaked with sweat for improvement in health to occur.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate studies in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Health Education and Promotion, 2002