Physical activity levels among adults in Uganda: Findings from a countrywide cross-sectional survey

David Guwatudde*, Barbara E. Kirunda, Ronald Wesonga, Gerald Mutungi, Richard Kajjura, Hafisa Kasule, James Muwonge, Silver K. Bahendeka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Being physically active is associated with lower risk of many noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). We analyzed physical activity (PA) data collected as part of Uganda's countrywide NCD risk factor survey conducted in 2014, to describe PA levels in Uganda. Methods: PA data were collected on the domains of work, travel and leisure. We calculated the percentage of participants meeting the World Health Organization (WHO) PA recommendations, and the types of intense-specific duration of PA. Prevalence ratios (PR) were used to identify factors associated with meeting WHO PA recommendations. Results: Of the 3987 participants, 3758 (94.3%) met the WHO PA recommendations. Work-related PA of moderate intensity, and travel-related PA contributed most to participants' overall weekly duration of PA, each contributing 49.6% and 25.2% respectively. The median weekly duration of all moderate-intensity PA was 1470 minutes (interquartile range [IQR] = 540 to 2460). Weekly duration of all vigorous-intensity PA was low with a median of 0 minutes (IQR = 0 to 1080). The median daily sedentary time was 120 minutes (IQR = 60 to 240). Factors significantly associated with meeting WHO PA recommendations were body mass index and level of education. Conclusions: PA levels in Uganda are high, mostly achieved through travel and work-related activities of moderate intensity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)938-945
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


  • Africa
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Physical activity recommendations
  • Uganda
  • Who steps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Epidemiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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