Nur Zahirah Abd Samad.1, Anis Syazwina Salman.1, Farah Wahidah Awi.1, Yokanantini Muniandy.1, Chin Yi Ying.1
1School of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Gong Badak Campus, Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed many innocent lives and its cases keep rising every single day. Some countries including Malaysia have implemented a lockdown as a preventive way. Therefore, many people need to stay at home and their daily movement has become restricted. Thus, this study aimed to determine the association between physical activity and body weight status in Malaysian adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cross-sectional survey was conducted in April 2021 involving 705 Malaysian adults aged 18 to 59 years. The questionnaire consists of self-reported anthropometric measurements, and physical activity questions that were administered from International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form Version (IPAQ-SF). The questionnaire was distributed using a convenient sampling technique to every state in Malaysia. Simple linear regression was conducted to determine the association between physical activity and body weight status using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows version 22.0.
Results & Discussion
Overall, there are 80.7% were females and 19.3% were males (30.0±11.0 years). Findings discovered that 29.9% of Malaysian adults practice low physical activity, 44.4% practice moderate physical activity, and 25.7% indicated practice high physical activity. The participants' mean height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) were 159.7(8.3) cm, 63.4(16.4) kg, and 24.9(6.3) kg/m2, respectively. Of 705 participants, 8.8% of them were underweight, 50.9% were normal BMI, 19.6% were overweight, and 20.7% were obese. The study showed that physical activity was significantly associated with body weight status (p = 0.03).
In conclusion, the implementation of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop, the majority of Malaysian adults to practice moderate physical activity. To promote a healthy lifestyle, everyone is encouraged to engage in physical activity as it is a good way to maintain normal body weight.