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Original Articles

Predictors and barriers to physical activity among rural preschool children in Kuching and Samarahan Divison, Sarawak, Malaysia

Authors:

Mohd Fakhree Bin Saad ,

Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak. Malaysia,, MY
About Mohd
Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak. Malaysia,
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Cheah Whye Lian,

Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak. Malaysia, MY
About Cheah
Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak. Malaysia
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Poh Bee Koon

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, MY
About Poh

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Abstract

Introduction: Physical activity improves the physical and mental health of children as well as their social wellbeing. Physical activity of preschool children is influenced by individual, social, nutritional and environment factors.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of physical activity and associated factors among preschool children in rural districts of Kuching and Samarahan Divison, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Method: A cross-sectional study was carried out on 227 children, aged 4 to 6 years, from KEMAS preschools and their parents from rural area of Kuching and Samarahan Division, Sarawak. Socio-demographic profile, physical activity, sedentary behaviour and perceived environmental factors were obtained using interview-guided validated questionnaires. Nutritional status of the children was measured using anthropometric measurement. Data were analysed using IBM SPSS version 22.0

Results: The proportion of physically active children in this study was 46.3%; 50.7% were found to have high screen time and 40.5% had high quiet play. The prevalence of overweight was 12.8% and the prevalence of obesity was 5.2%. Multivariate analysis revealed that the proportion of children who were physically active was higher among those who were of the Malay ethnicity with unemployed mothers, high safety and crime score, and walkable environment in the surrounding.

Conclusions: This study showed that only half of preschool children were engaged in physical activity in sufficient levels. The study also identified the several predictors related to physical activity using the socio-ecological model. 

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2020; 49(4): 353-360

How to Cite: Saad, M.F.B., Lian, C.W. and Koon, P.B., 2020. Predictors and barriers to physical activity among rural preschool children in Kuching and Samarahan Divison, Sarawak, Malaysia. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 49(4), pp.353–360. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v49i4.9267
Published on 05 Dec 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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