Analysis of physical activity and health profiles and the utilization of the Biokinetic Humanitarian Project among senior university students

15 Feb 2021

Minimal research has investigated physical activity and health profiles among university students in Africa. Research has however shown the need for health intervention programmes across all domains to advocate both physical activity participation and exercise education. The purpose of this study was to objectively analyse physical activity and health profiles among senior university students in Cape Town, South Africa. A secondary aim was to investigate the use of the non-profit organisation, the Biokinetic Humanitarian Project (BHP) (which provides complimentary exercise testing, exercise prescription and health education) to improve selected health measures in this population. A cross-sectional research study was employed whereby male and female university residence students (n=19) were screened for health and fitness measures at baseline and after a 6-month intervention period. Physical activity and health education was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire guidelines. The 6-month intervention comprised of both gym and home-based exercise programmes. Descriptive and comparative/interferential statistics were used to analyse the results. The level of significance was set at p<0.05 for both genders. Significant improvements (p<0.05) were observed for waist and hip measurements and for resting heart rate. Males demonstrated significant differences (p<0.05) in hip circumference, heart rate and blood glucose. These findings suggest that the 6-month BHP intervention resulted in significant improvements in selected health and fitness parameters among university students. Future investigations should include bigger samples and be conducted among other public and private university settings.