n South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation - Physical activity, including active commuting, and health status of rural school children in South Africa

Volume 41 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0379-9069


Physical activity is considered a key preventative measure for various diseases, such as diabetes and cardio-vascular disorders. The majority of South Africans studied in various regional cross sectional surveys, suggest that most young people fail to meet recommended minimum physical activity standards. The main objective of this study was to ascertain the physical activity patterns and health status of rural schoolchildren. A comparative and correlational cross-sectional study design was used to assess the physical activity levels and health status of 162 rural schoolchildren. The participation levels in light and moderate to vigorous physical activity were 44.6% and 55.4% respectively. Walking to and from school was the most prevalent physical activity reported. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of the children were hypertensive. More than 50% of the children participated in health-enhancing physical activity. The low physical inactivity prevalence was most likely a result of their habitual activity patterns, which included active commuting to and from school.

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