Assessment of body mass index (BMI) and physical activity of Undergraduate students in Makerere University, Kampala
Kimunyu, Ferdinand Treasure
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Background Physical activity levels of university students have in recent years been low but with most of the students having a normal Body Mass Index (BMI). The factors determining these physical activity levels influence students’ BMI including their lifestyles at Makerere University which have also been influential towards their health, well-being and academic performance. Makerere University was chosen as the area of study due to its location and its exposure to all these factors that lower the physical activity levels of the students Objective To assess the BMI and the factors that influences the levels of physical activity amongst undergraduate students in Makerere University in order to determine the potential risk factors towards Non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Methodology This was a crossectional study employing a quantitative data collection method. A total of 303 undergraduate students of Makerere University were interviewed. Data was collected using EpiCollect5 software uploaded on mobile phone and then analysed using stata13.0 version. Results From the findings, 220 of the 303 participants reported themselves to being physically active while 27.4% (83/303) reported physically inactive. For BMI assessment, 45% of the respondents had a normal body weight, 24% of the respondents were overweight,16% of the respondents being below the normal and 15% of the respondents being overweight. Basing on the major factors influencing physical activity participation, 96.7% (296/303) of the respondents agreed that physical exercises are safe and 95.4%(289/303) of the respondents agreed that they carry out physical exercises for their health and well-being. Conclusion Physical activity levels and BMI affect students’ health, and wellbeing considering the physical, social and individual environment they live in. However, Makerere university students should take up critical steps towards having a positive attitude towards maintaining their health and well-being through practicing health lifestyles.