Physical Inactivity among Ghanaians in Ghana and Ghanaian Migrants in Europe.Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2020 10; 52(10):2152-2161.MS
There is a paucity of data on physical activity (PA) among migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, yet physical inactivity is a key risk factor for noncommunicable diseases. We examined the levels of physical inactivity and its determinants among Ghanaians in different geographical locations.
We used the Research on Obesity and Diabetes among African Migrants data of Ghanaian adults (n = 4760) age 25-70 yr in rural and urban Ghana and three European cities (Amsterdam, London, and Berlin). Using total physical activity metabolic equivalent of task, physical inactivity was defined as total physical activity metabolic equivalent of task minutes per week less than 600. Logistic regression was used to examine the differences in the levels and the determinants of physical inactivity across sites.
Physical inactivity was higher among Ghanaian migrants (14.6% in Amsterdam, 24.1% in Berlin, and 36.6% in London) and urban Ghanaians (29.0%) compared with rural Ghanaians (11.2%). After adjustment for covariates (age, sex, education, health status, smoking status, body mass index, and social network) using rural Ghanaians as the comparator group, the odds ratios for physical inactivity in men ranged from 3.67 (95% confidence interval, 2.19-6.16) in urban Ghanaians to 10.37 (5.96-18.02) in London Ghanaians, and from 3.27 (2.46-4.35) in urban Ghanaians to 4.41 (3.12-6.22) in London Ghanaians in women. Migrants in London and Berlin had higher odds of physical inactivity compared with Amsterdam. Increased age, university education, and overweight/obesity were positively associated with physical inactivity, whereas social support was inversely associated with physical inactivity with variability across sites.
Findings indicate high prevalence of physical inactivity among Ghanaians in all sites, particularly among Ghanaians in Europe. Hence, there is the need to take local context into account to improve PA.