The prevalence of sedentary behavior among university students in Saudi Arabia

Impacts of physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep on depression symptoms in Canadian older adults 65 years of age and above: a compositional data analysis of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging
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Validity and reliability of the Arabic sedentary behavior questionnaire among university students aged between 18–30 years old
March 25, 2024
Impacts of physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep on depression symptoms in Canadian older adults 65 years of age and above: a compositional data analysis of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging
March 11, 2024
Validity and reliability of the Arabic sedentary behavior questionnaire among university students aged between 18–30 years old
March 25, 2024

A new publication entitled, “The prevalence of sedentary behavior among university students in Saudi Arabia” was recently published in BMC Public Health. A full citation and summary are below.

ABSTRACT

Background
A considerable body of research has demonstrated that reducing sitting time benefits health. Therefore, the current study aimed to explore the prevalence of sedentary behavior (SB) and its patterns.

Methods
A total of 6975 university students (49.1% female) were chosen randomly to participate in a face-to-face interview. The original English version of the sedentary behavior questionnaire (SBQ) was previously translated into Arabic. Then, the validated Arabic version of the SBQ was used to assess SB. The Arabic SBQ included 9 types of SB (watching television, playing computer/video games, sitting while listening to music, sitting and talking on the phone, doing paperwork or office work, sitting and reading, playing a musical instrument, doing arts and crafts, and sitting and driving/riding in a car, bus or train) on weekdays and weekends.

Results
SBQ indicated that the total time of SB was considerably high (478.75 ± 256.60 and 535.86 ± 316.53 (min/day) during weekdays and weekends, respectively). On average, participants spent the most time during the day doing office/paperwork (item number 4) during weekdays (112.47 ± 111.11 min/day) and weekends (122.05 ± 113.49 min/day), followed by sitting time in transportation (item number 9) during weekdays (78.95 ± 83.25 min/day) and weekends (92.84 ± 100.19 min/day). The average total sitting time of the SBQ was 495.09 ± 247.38 (min/day) and 58.4% of the participants reported a high amount of sitting time (≥ 7 hours/day). Independent t-test showed significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) between males and females in all types of SB except with doing office/paperwork (item number 4). The results also showed that male students have a longer daily sitting time (521.73 ± 236.53 min/day) than females (467.38 ± 255.28 min/day). Finally, 64.1% of the males reported a high amount of sitting time (≥ 7 hours/day) compared to females (52.3%).

Conclusion
In conclusion, the total mean length of SB in minutes per day for male and female university students was considerably high. About 58% of the population appeared to spend ≥7 h/day sedentary. Male university students are likelier to sit longer than female students. Our findings also indicated that SB and physical activity interventions are needed to raise awareness of the importance of adopting an active lifestyle and reducing sitting time.

CITATION

Alahmadi, M.A., Almasoud, K.H., Aljahani, A.H. et al. (2024). The prevalence of sedentary behavior among university students in Saudi Arabia. BMC Public Health 24, 605. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-024-18107-7

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