Physical Activity Patterns Among Faculty Of Health Sciences Students In Taraba State University

Project and Seminar Material for Public Health

Physical Activity Patterns Among Faculty Of Health Sciences Students In Taraba State University


The current study seeks to compare patterns of physical activity practice, benefits and perceived barriers of physical activity among first year and final year undergraduate students.

A cross-sectional study was conducted from the Faculty of Health Sciences in Taraba state University. A total of 480 students were drawn from the 4 departments; Midwifery, Medical laboratory sciences, Nursing and Pharmacy.

Physical activity was measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ). Descriptive statistics and bivariate analysis; Pearson chi-square test, Fisher exact test were employed for data analysis using SPSS v23.0.

Total physical activity on weekly basis was significant among men (p = 0.001) and for the female counterparts there was no significant difference (p = 0.014). Sedentarism were predominantly affecting females in the 4th years compared to their 1st year counterparts (p = 0.001). More than 15% of the male students from 1st and 4th years were physically inactive. Time limitation and lack of accessible and suitable sporting facilities were identified by both classes as the most barriers to physical activity (p = 0.001). 83% of the participants stated that physical activity promotes and maintains health. The results showed the correlation between physical activity and sitting time (p = 0.001).

Insufficient physical activity is a health problem in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Taraba state University. The main risk groups for physical inactivity were female students across the undergraduate study levels. The University should prioritize to implement a positive physical activity environment; places, equipment and sport facilities should be availed within campuses, and other interventions that effectively enable the practice of physical activity by the students’ population enrolled at the institution.

Keywords: Physical activity; Medical students; Sedentary behavior; Fourth industrial revolution

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Physical Activity (PA) is movement that is carried out by the skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure, measured in kilocalories, hence any movement one does is physical activity. PA can be achieved through household, occupational, fitness and conditioning, sports and other activities. Exercise, however, is planned, structured, repetitive and intentional movement intended to improve or maintain physical fitness, a product of either health- or skill-related. Therefore, exercise is a subcategory of physical activity. It is important to understand that PA and exercise are positively correlated to physical fitness (Caspersen CJ, 1985)

Physical Activity (PA)’s health benefits are well known and instituted world-wide. Literature reveals several physical and positive psychological health benefits for children (Huberty J, 2012), adolescents and adults including delays the onset of dementia, a lower risk of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), Hypertension (HPT), weight management, reduces feelings of depression, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis and breast and colon cancer. Despite this background, physical inactivity has been progressively escalating and has developed into a serious cause of concern in the 21st century public health.

Physical Inactivity (PIA) is a result of many factors such as economic, cultural, labor, environmental, social and political. According to WHO, the decline in physical activity levels has been partly attributed to increasing sedentary behaviors due to insufficient participation in physical activity during occupational, domestic, recreational and leisure activities, along with higher use of “passive” modes of transportation such as cars, trains and buses in communities worldwide.

Despite that beautiful landscape; a traditional culture that makes it to remain largely peaceful and envied by others, increased urbanization has resulted in several environmental, social and cultural factors to change significantly promoting PIA.

With the globe’s tremendous move passing the hyper connectivity- based third industrial revolution towards the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), with its super-intelligence, technological advances, capitalism, entrepreneurship and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the robot system dictates numerous changes to human relations, forms of life and the societal behavior policies. These 21st century changes in lifestyle generated by the 4IR have major influences in the PA and exercise patterns and nutrition, posing an increase in population exposure to high risk of major Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) as a result of a decline in industrialization where manpower was actively involved in manual work. To curb this strong relationship between PA and NCDs, WHO has identified nine global targets to improve the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases and it’s member states have embarked on 10% relative reduction in the prevalence of insufficient physical activity by 2025.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In the Southern Africa, the Kingdom of Lesotho with physical inactivity prevalence of 6•3% 4•5 – 8•6 at 95% CI) with prevalence of men 72.7 and women 60.6 (56.7, 64.5) respectively at 95% CI are not spared among the WHO member states facing physical inactivity predicament. A close monitoring of high-risk populations such as children, adolescents and university students is essential to track the effectiveness of the policy and future guide plan.

In recognition of the above, it is imperative to know the trends of insufficient physical activity among medical undergraduate students so as to track progress towards this global physical activity targets. Significant personality changes, sedentary habits, new relationships and academic stress and workloads are consolidated to adopt sedentary behaviors during university life. Although university life is temporary and full of unhealthy habits, participation in PA needs consistent higher level of self-esteem, self-concept, lower levels of anxiety and stress, so that the unhealthy habits picked up during this time period will not persist in adult life.

The medical school faculty members and students are expected to practice and live a healthy lifestyle not only for their personal benefits but also to make their endorsement of an active lifestyle more credible, since they have a greater knowledge about a healthy lifestyle and dietary habits when compared to other institutional members and students. Since the medical students are future health professionals, they will be exceptionally positioned to convey effective guidance, messages and advice regarding to physical fitness, wellness and positive health lifestyle to the public. This will be implemented during general consultations, counseling sessions and other workshops in line with their scope of practice.

Therefore, the main aims of the current study were to compare the pattern of physical activity practice, benefits and perceived barriers to physical activity among first year and final year undergraduate students. Also, recommendations regarding to promotion of PA during their training period as health professionals will be discussed so as to pave the way for planning for PA and health promotion programmes in the institution.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine the physical activity patterns among faculty of health sciences students in Taraba state university.

Specifically, the study aims

  1. Examine the socio-demographic distribution of the undergraduate students in the faculty of Health sciences
  2. Determine the Prevalence of physical activity among the undergraduate students
  3. To investigate the physical activity patterns among faculty of health sciences students in taraba state university
  4. To recommend physical activity among undergraduate students in the faculty of Health sciences

1.4 Research Question

  1. What is the socio-demographic distribution of the undergraduate students in the faculty of Health sciences ?
  2. What is the Prevalence of physical activity among the undergraduate students ?
  3. What is the physical activity patterns among faculty of health sciences students in taraba state university ?
  4. What physical activity can the study recommend among undergraduate students in the faculty of Health sciences

1.5 Significance of the study

A study of this kind will be useful in many ways. The findings of this study will be useful to members of staff of tertiary institutions both academics and non academics, students of institutions of higher learning, religious affiliations both Christians and Muslims, college authorities of all the affected institutions in Adamawa State, Nigeria.

The benefits of physical activity in tertiary institutions will help to develop staff members both physically, psychologically and socially especially when it comes to individuals partaking in the activity of their choices example, recreation. It will also enable academic and non academic staff to discipline themselves on physical activities for the avoidance of illness such as diabetes, hypertension and overweight among the staff of institution of higher learning.

The benefits of physical activity in tertiary institutions in Taraba state will help to sensitize the students on the importance of physical activity in their lives. This will avail them the opportunities physical activities offer which will help in development of sports in institutions of higher learning. The finding will also create awareness to the students on the perceived benefits//barriers and contribute to the development of physiological and psychological levels especially during competition, such as (NUGA, NACEGA, and NAPOGA), organised to associates students’ interactions. Also, the benefits will as well give female students equal opportunity to participate in various physical activities as male do, this is because women seem to record high rate of inactive behaviours compared to men and mainly because of lack of encouragement by the opposite sex.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study was delimited to the physical activity patterns among faculty of health sciences students in Taraba state university. The study examined in particular academic level in the institution; i.e level 100 and 400 level in all the departments faculty of health sciences in Taraba state university.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

This research work is specifically on the physical activity patterns among faculty of health sciences students in Taraba state university. In the limitation on research work of this magnitude or nature can be carried out without limitation. Hence, during the course, certain constraints were encountered.


The cost of thorough research is not what can be afforded by a student. The prices of materials needed for this work has gone up and transport fee has also gone up.


The time was one of the limitations in the process of carrying out this research work.

Scarcity of Literature:

The research encountered some problems in collection of literature especially on the bank History and operations. This are hindered the smooth running of this work.

1.8 Definition of terms

Physical Activity

Physical activity refers to all movement. Popular ways to be active include walking, cycling, wheeling, sports, active recreation and play, and can be done at any level of skill and for enjoyment by everybody.

Physical Fitness

physical fitness as “one’s ability to execute daily activities with optimal performance, endurance, and strength with the management of disease, fatigue, and stress and reduced sedentary behavior.


Exercise is any physical activity that uses large muscle groups and causes the body to use more oxygen than it would while resting

1.9 Organizations of the Study

The chapter one consist of the introductory part of the study which includes the study background, the statement of the research problem, the study objective and scope of the study.

The second chapter is a critical review of other literatures relevant to the study and its objectives including the theoretical framework for the study. While the third chapter is methods of data collection, sampling and data analysis used in conducting the study. The fourth chapter centres around the research findings including an analysis of how it relates to previous findings. The fifth chapter consists of the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations base on the study objectives.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the physical activity patterns among faculty of health sciences students in Taraba state university, Taraba state university as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.

5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the physical activity patterns among faculty of health sciences students in Taraba state university, Taraba state university as case study. The study specifically was aimed at ascertaining physical activity patterns among faculty of health sciences students in Taraba state university.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 203 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are faculty of health sciences students in Taraba state university.

5.3 Conclusions

With respect to the analysis and the findings of this study, the following conclusions emerged;

This study showed a wide range of physical activity levels and patterns across undergraduate study levels, with sports exercise and physical exercise activity consistently being insufficient among the students. Insufficient physical activity is a public health problem in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Taraba state University. More than individual behavior, there is a hostile environment that makes it difficult for students to engage in physical activity. Unless serious action is taken in the Faculty’s settings, the low level of physical activity is likely to contribute to the rise in NCDs within the medical fraternity in the near future.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the findings the researcher recommends that:

  1. The university can use an application of AI to sports, which include a wearable performance monitoring system which has a compression shirt and measures heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, posture and impact. This devise can detect and inform the user if they have exercised beyond safety precaution zone and thus it reduces injuries, hence optimizing performance and facilitates return-to-play as well as monitors player movements during training and matches. The collected data is then analysed using AI to create a system that is able to recommend best exercises for a given profile of a person.
  2. The university’s health curriculum designers and policymakers should embed into university curricula sports as a compulsory subject for all the students, though course should not be credit bearing but should be a requirement for a student to proceed to the following year to promotion of physical activity
  3. A positive PA environment with places, equipment and sports facilities should be an investment priority of the university. One of the most visible signs of excellent university is their sports facilities. This is because there is clear link between physical vitality and educational outcomes.
  4. A Physical Activity Research Centre (PARC) where students and academicians develop research on emerging epidemics linked to physical inactivity and its impact to public health is needed in the university. It will also save as a space for students to develop innovative solutions at curbing this global health threat.
  5. The university should have health walks where both staff and students participate and these can be sponsored walks or perhaps prizes be given to those who complete these walks.
  6. The university’s IT department should work using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop a system that will assist students, staff and communities to work on their sets of recommended exercises remotely, generating personalized exercises for everyone based on one’s current physique and physical goals, and everyone with access to a laptop, iphone and hand phone with android will be able to access such services.

Table of Content

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses
  • 4.5 Discussion of Findings

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.

1.1 Background of the Study

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much physical activity do Chinese students really do?

In contrast, the median value of total physical activity among Chinese students was 1805.00 MET minutes/week, with 480.00 MET minutes/week vigorous-intensity activity, 360.00 MET minutes/week moderate-intensity activity, and 363.00 MET minutes/week walking.

How common is physical inactivity in the United States?

In general, the prevalence of physical inactivity was 20.5% among adults older than 18 years old in the United States [16], 25.0% among adults older than 18 years old in United Kingdom [17], 26.6% among university students in Spain [4], and 29.3% among university students in Hungry [18].

How much physical activity do Croatian students do?

Croatian students recorded a median total physical activity of 4259.00 MET minutes/week, with 1920.00 MET minutes/week vigorous-intensity activity, 1200.00 MET minutes/week moderate-intensity activity, and 767.25 MET minutes/week spent walking. 

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