Magnitude and determinants of physical inactivity in Ethiopia: Evidence from 2015 Ethiopia National NCD Survey

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Kassahun Amenu
Terefe Gelibo
Misrak Getnet
Tefera Taddele
Theodros Getachew
Atkure Defar
Habtamu Teklie
Geremew Gonfa
Mulugeta Guta
Yeweyenhareg Feleke
Alemayehu Bekele
Dejuma Yadeta
Tedla Kebede
Mussie G/Michael
Feyissa Challa
Yabetse Girma
Kissi Mudie
Yewondwossen Tadesse
Abebe Bekele


Background: Physical activity can significantly reduce burden of NCDs. Physical activity is a low-cost and high impact interventions that can be easily implemented among majority of the population throughout the life. Global reports show that physical inactivity has become unique feature. As per the 2014 WHO report, globally, 20 percent of adult men and 27 percent of adult women did not meet the normal- recommendations of physical activity for health most of these being from urban settings.
Objective: To assess the magnitude and determinants of physical inactivity among Ethiopian population.
Methods: Community-based Cross-sectional study based on the World Health Organization (WHO) NCD Stepwise approach was conducted in Ethiopia from April to June 2015. All men and women age 15-69 years old were the target of this study. A mix of sampling approach namely stratified, three-stage cluster sampling, simple random sampling and Kish method were employed to select the study settings and the study participants. A total of 9801 from 513 enumerations areas were involved with response rate of 95.5%.
Result: Among the study participants, 94.2% (95% of male, and 91% of female) of the participants reported physical activity as per WHO recommendations. Based on multivariate analysis, rural residents were 2.5 (AOR=2.46, (95% - CI: 2.12, 2.86) times more likely to engage in physical activity as compared to urbanites. The youngest age group 15-29 were 3.5 (AOR=3.46, (95% - CI: 2.74, 4.36) times more likely to be physically active than the older age group 60-69 years old. Participants who had college and above education were 28 percent (AOR=0.72, (95% - CI: 0.55, 0.96) less likely to do physical activity compared to respondents with no formal education.
Conclusion: Considerable proportion of the study population did not meet WHO recommendations on physical activity for health. It showed that, individuals in rural areas were more engaged in physical activity while individuals who had college and above education were less likely to do physical activity. The highest percentage of individuals not meeting the WHO recommendations for physical activity were the older ones in the age group 60–69 years. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2017;31(Special Issue):348-354]
Key Words: STEPs survey, physical inactivity determinants, Ethiopia

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How to Cite
Amenu, K., Gelibo, T., Getnet, M., Taddele, T., Getachew, T., Defar, A., Teklie, H., Gonfa, G., Guta, M., Feleke, Y., Bekele, A., Yadeta, D., Kebede, T., G/Michael, M., Challa, F., Girma, Y., Mudie, K., Tadesse, Y., & Bekele, A. (2018). Magnitude and determinants of physical inactivity in Ethiopia: Evidence from 2015 Ethiopia National NCD Survey. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development (EJHD), 31(1). Retrieved from
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