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Original Article

A Cross-sectional Study on the Prevalence of Physical Activity Among Primary Health Care Physicians in Aljouf Region of Saudi Arabia

Altaf H. Banday, Farooq A. Want, Feras Fahad A. Alris, Musab F. Alrayes, Mohammad J. Alenzi.

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Background: Sedentary life style and consequent obesity prevail in both developed and developing nations; gender- and age-independently. Physical inactivity in a population in a life style transition–like Saudi Arabia–causes metabolic syndrome with its immediate and long-term complications. Healthcare workers are in a better position for role modeling and counseling of appropriate health behaviors. Personal physical activity and body built among physicians influences to some degree their exercise counseling. Realizing such principle necessitates gauging the extent of physical activity among physicians and assessing the likelihood of counseling the patients on physical activities. Methods: A cross-sectional study enrolled primary health care physicians (PHCPs) from primary health care centers and general hospitals of two cities (Sakaka and Dumat Al-Jandal) of Aljouf region, Saudi Arabia. Both genders were included. English version of step-wise questionnaire of World Health Organization was used for data collection. Results: The response rate was 64.2%. 65.2% of respondent PHCPs were doing moderate to vigorous physical exercise and 34.8% of them were physically inactive. Majority of physically inactive PHCPs had intention to increase their physical activity. Neither gender, nationality nor city-wise significant differences were recorded. However, physically active PHCPs significantly impart advice and role modeling on physical activity to their patients compared to physically inactive PHCPs (p

Key words: Primary health care physicians, Physical activity

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