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Mandil, AlFurayh, AlJebreen, and AlDukhi: Physical activity and major non-communicable diseases among Riyadh physicians during 1435H

Introduction: There have been many studies (nationally and internationally) on physical activity; however, there are few data available on physical activity levels among Saudi subpopulation groups, especially physicians. There is also a need for studies to test the possible association between physical activity and major non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Saudi Arabia.

Objectives: To assess physical activity levels, estimate prevalence of major NCDs, investigate possible factors correlated with physical exercise and the possible association between physical inactivity and major NCDs (cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer) among selected Riyadh physicians during 1435H.

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 370 randomly selected outpatient physicians, aged 24–65 years, of both genders, working at four health care delivery centres in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, namely King Khalid University Hospital, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre and National Guards Health Affairs. The data were collected using a modified version of the World Health Organization STEPwise questionnaire.

Results and conclusions: About two-thirds of our sample of Riyadh physicians (63%) reported partaking of physical exercise, which is higher than reports among the general Saudi population (32.4%). Moreover, more than one-fifth (21.9%) of these physicians reported having one or more major NCDs. Nevertheless, in our study, no statistically significant association was found between physical inactivity and major NCDs among sampled physicians.

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