n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Physical activity and body composition, a risk profile analysis of learners in selected urban secondary schools in Namibia - : physical activity, health and wellness

Volume 18, Issue Issue-4_2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Several developing countries around the world are at present undergoing a process of epidemiological transition which is associated with various health problems. The globally enhanced prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity of children is a cause for major concern to health professionals. Very little is known about this phenomenon in Namibia. Therefore the aim of this study was to construct a profile of secondary school learners in selected urban schools in Namibia. This cross-sectional study on a randomly selected secondary school population in Windhoek, capital city of Namibia, included 133 boys and 161 girls aged 14-18 years. Body mass, stature, percentage body fat as well as the youth risk behaviour questionnaire were used to analyse the profile of the participants. Data were analysed, using "Statistics for Windows". The results of this study indicated that for boys, a decrease in the prevalence of overweight occurs from 14-17 years (17% - 5%). However, for the 18-year-old group, 34% tend to be overweight. Except for the 17-year-old boys, the obese group shows a consistent increase, with the 18-year-olds being the most obese (17%). The same tendency occurs in the case of the girls, with the 18-year-olds showing a prevalence of 39% in the obese and overweight categories, respectively. Regarding the physical activity profile, the highest prevalence occurs in the 17-year-old boys (30%) and 17 and 18-year-old girls (35% & 33% respectively). As far as the overweight and obese participants are concerned, most of them were classified as low active (6% boys & 51% girls) respectively).

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