Level of physical activity and its relationship with tobacco use among youth: a cross-sectional survey in North India
Background: Tobacco use and physical inactivity are major risk factors for NCDs. Adequate physical activity keeps one healthy but sedentary life style may contribute to other unhealthy practices like tobacco use. There is a need to identify if and how the two risk factors are interrelated so as to address them more strategically. Objectives: To assess the level of physical activity and to identify its association with tobacco use among college going youth in Chandigarh. Material & Methods: Data on physical activity and tobacco use was collected from 500 students aged 18-24 years studying in different professional and nonprofessional colleges of Chandigarh in year, through a multistage stratified random sampling technique. We used semi-structured, self-administered questionnaires-namely 78 item Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) for assessing tobacco use status and GPAQ (Global Physical Activity Questionnaire) for assessment of physical activity. Binary logistics regression analysis was done to find association between tobacco use and physical activity. Odd’s ratio & 95% confidence interval (C.I.) was calculated. Results: Of the 500 individuals studied, 12.8% (n=64) were physically inactive, 10% (n=50) were active and 76.2% (n=381) were highly active. Females (15.8%) were more inactive as compared to males (12.1%). Highly active respondents were seen more in 18-20 years age group (77.6%) as compared to 21-22 years age group (76.1%). The odds of consuming tobacco is significantly lower among physically active respondents as compared to inactive respondents. Conclusions: Our findings indicate a significant relationship between physical activity and tobacco use among youth. Promotion of physical activity may be a useful educational tool for reducing tobacco use.
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