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Article

Urgent Need for Adolescent Physical Activity Policies and Promotion: Lessons from “Jeeluna”

1
College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh 11533, Saudi Arabia
2
National Family Safety Program, King Abdulaziz Medical City-Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh 11426, Saudi Arabia
3
Department of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Aldara Hospital and Medical Center, Riyadh 12714, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4464; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17124464
Received: 17 May 2020 / Revised: 14 June 2020 / Accepted: 18 June 2020 / Published: 21 June 2020
Physical inactivity is a growing concern in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and globally. Data on physical activity (PA) trends, barriers, and facilitators among adolescents in KSA are scarce. This study aims to identify PA trends amongst adolescents in KSA and associated health and lifestyle behaviors. Data from “Jeeluna”, a national study in KSA involving around 12,500 adolescents, were utilized. School students were invited to participate, and a multistage sampling procedure was used. Data collection included a self-administered questionnaire, anthropometric measurements, and blood sampling. Adolescents who performed PA for at least one day per week for >30 min each day were considered to “engage in PA”. Mean age of the participants was 15.8 ± 0.8 years, and 51.3% were male. Forty-four percent did not engage in PA regularly. Only 35% engaged in PA at school, while 40% were not offered PA at school. Significantly more 10–14-year old than 15–19-year-old adolescents and more males than females engaged in PA (<0.01). Mental health was better in adolescents who engaged in PA (<0.01). Adolescents who engaged in PA were more likely to eat healthy food and less likely to live a sedentary lifestyle (<0.01). It is imperative that socio-cultural and demographic factors be taken into consideration during program and policy development. This study highlights the urgent need for promoting PA among adolescents in KSA and addressing perceived barriers, while offering a treasure of information to policy and decision makers. View Full-Text
Keywords: adolescent; adolescent health; physical activity; exercise; health surveillance; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia adolescent; adolescent health; physical activity; exercise; health surveillance; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Baqal, O.J.; Saleheen, H.; AlBuhairan, F.S. Urgent Need for Adolescent Physical Activity Policies and Promotion: Lessons from “Jeeluna”. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4464. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17124464

AMA Style

Baqal OJ, Saleheen H, AlBuhairan FS. Urgent Need for Adolescent Physical Activity Policies and Promotion: Lessons from “Jeeluna”. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(12):4464. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17124464

Chicago/Turabian Style

Baqal, Omar J., Hassan Saleheen, and Fadia S. AlBuhairan. 2020. "Urgent Need for Adolescent Physical Activity Policies and Promotion: Lessons from “Jeeluna”" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 12: 4464. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17124464

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