Perceived constraints to physical activity among students at paramedical institutions in Uganda
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In the developing world, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa, physical inactivity along with tobacco use, poor diet and nutrition are increasingly parts of today’s lifestyle. The aim of this study was to assess the levels of physical activity, and to investigate perceived constraints to physical activity among students in paramedical institutions in Uganda. A self-administered questionnaire adapted from the literature was administered to 400 students. The results indicated that 59% of participants were classified as physically active and 41% as sedentary. Males were significantly more active than females. For male participants, “lack of the right equipment to exercise” and “wanting to do other things in their free time” were perceived as the major constraints to physical activity. For female participants, “lack of motivation” and “tiredness after exercise” were perceived as the major constraints to physical activity. Thus, recommendations to eliminate these specific constraints and increase physical activity of paramedical institution students are offered. The findings of this study demonstrate that there is an influence of socio-demographic characteristics on participation in physical activity and perceived constraints to physical activity. The findings further indicate the need of health promotion intervention aiming at promoting physical activity among paramedical institution students in Uganda.