Teh CH, Lim KK, Chan YY, Lim KH, Azahadi O, Hamizatul Akmar AH, Ummi Nadiah Y, Syafinaz MS, Kee CC, Yeo PS, Fadhli Y (2014). The prevalence of physical activity and its associated factors among Malaysian adults: findings from the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2011. Public Health 128(5): 416-423
Objectives: Despite the health-enhancing benefits of physical activity, a large segment of the Malaysian population does not engage in regular physical activity at the recommended level. This study aimed to determine physical activity patterns and the associated sociodemographic correlates of physical activity.
Study design : Data on physical activity were obtained from the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2011, a nationally representative, population-based cross-sectional study. A two-stage stratified sampling method was used to select a representative sample of Malaysian adults aged 16 years and above.
Methods: A total of 19,145 adults aged 16 years and above were recruited, and face-to-face interviews were conducted using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), short version. The correlates for physical activity were identified using multivariate analysis.
Results: In this study, 64.3% (95%CI: 63.1–65.5) of Malaysian adults aged 16 and above were physically active, but overall physical activity levels decreased with advancing age. Men, rural residents, ‘other’ ethnic groups, and married women were more likely to demonstrate higher levels of physical activity.
Conclusion: Approximately 65% of Malaysian adults were physically active. However, it is recommended that health promotions for active lifestyles should be targeted to the least active segments, which constitute more than a quarter of the Malaysian population.