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Health-Promotion Intervention Increases Self-Reported Physical Activity in Sub-Saharan African University Students: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study.

Health-Promotion Intervention Increases Self-Reported Physical Activity in Sub-Saharan African University Students: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study.
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Heeren GA, Jemmott JB, Marange CS, Rumosa Gwaze A, Batidzirai JM, Ngwane Z, Mandeya A, Tyler JC,


Heeren GA, Jemmott JB, Marange CS, Rumosa Gwaze A, Batidzirai JM, Ngwane Z, Mandeya A, Tyler JC, (click to view)

Heeren GA, Jemmott JB, Marange CS, Rumosa Gwaze A, Batidzirai JM, Ngwane Z, Mandeya A, Tyler JC,

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Behavioral medicine (Washington, D.C.) 2017 07 06() 0 doi 10.1080/08964289.2017.1350134

Abstract

To evaluate the efficacy of a health-promotion intervention in increasing self-reported physical activity among university students in Sub-Saharan Africa. Randomly selected second-year students at a university in South Africa were randomized to an intervention based on social cognitive theory: health-promotion, targeting physical activity and fruit, vegetable, and fat consumption; or HIV risk-reduction, targeting sexual-risk behaviors. Participants completed assessments via audio computer-assisted self-interviewing pre-intervention and 6 and 12 months post-intervention. 176 were randomized with 171 (97.2%) retained 12 months post-intervention. Generalized-estimating-equations analyses indicated that the health-promotion-intervention participants were more likely to meet physical-activity guidelines than were control participants, post-intervention, adjusting for pre-intervention physical activity (odds ratio [OR] = 3.35; 95% CI: 1.33-8.41). Health-promotion participants reported a greater number of days they did vigorous-intensity (risk ratio [RR] = 2.01; 95% CI: 1.43-2.83) and moderate-intensity (RR = 1.40; 95% CI: 1.01-1.95) aerobic activity, but not strength-building activity (RR = 1.37; 95% CI: 0.091-2.07). The intervention reduced self-reported servings of fried foods (mean difference = -0.31; 95% CI: -0.60, -0.02). The findings suggest that theory-based, contextually appropriate interventions may increase physical activity among university students in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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