RESEARCH PAPER
Physical activity of Polish adolescents and young adults according to IPAQ: a population based study
 
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1
John Paul II State Higher Vocational School, Biała Podlaska, Poland
2
Independent Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
3
Department of Public Health, University of Information Technology and Management, Rzeszow, Poland
4
Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, Warsaw, Poland; Institute of Haematology and Transfusion Medicine, Warsaw, Poland
5
Department of Functional Research, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
6
Department of Health Promotion, Food and Nutrition, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Andrzej Wojtyła   

Department of Health Promotion, Food and Nutrition, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2012;19(1):109–115
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
The alarming problem of a decline in physical activity among children and adolescents and its detrimental effects on public health has been well recognised worldwide. Low physical activity is responsible for 6% of deaths worldwide and 5-10% of deaths in the countries of the WHO European Region, according to country. Within the last decade, many initiatives have been launched to counteract this phenomenon. The objective of presented study was analysis of the level of physical activity among adolescents and young adults in Poland, according to the IPAQ questionnaire. The study group covered 7,716 adolescents: 5,086 children attending high school and secondary schools and 2,630 university students. Low physical activity was noted among 57% of schoolchildren and 20.84% of students. Analysis of the level of physical activity according to the IPAQ indicated that it was lower among girls, compared to boys. An additional analysis, with the consideration of the place of residence, showed that the highest percentage of the population with low physical activity was noted in the rural areas (29.30%), while among the urban inhabitants of cities with a population above 100,000 it was on the level of 23.69% and 20.57%. Median for weekly physical activity by respondents gender was on the level of 1,554.00 MET*min. weekly among females, and 2,611.00 MET*min. weekly among males (p<0.000). The highest weekly physical activity expressed in MET*min. was observed among the inhabitants of towns with a population less than 100,000, whereas among the rural population and inhabitants of large cities with a population of over 100,000 the weekly physical activity was on a similar level (1,830.50 and 1,962.00 respectively). An extended analysis of respondents' physical activity showed that during the day students spend significantly more time in a sedentary position, compared to schoolchildren. The presented results of studies indicate the necessity to continue and intensify actions to promote various forms of physical activity among students and schoolchildren. A constant decrease in physical activity observed among children and adolescents suggests that it is necessary to pay greater attention to this social group while developing health programmes.
 
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