The Gap between Knowledge and Practice of Physical Activity in Medical Students of Delhi


  • Vandana Pandit MD Community Medicine, VMMC & Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi.
  • Jugal Kishore Director Professor & Head of Department-Community Medicine, VMMC & Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi.


Physical Inactivity, Life Style Disorder, Non-Communicable Diseases, Obesity


Introduction: The lifestyle today has become more sedentary, and obesity and many non-communicable diseases are increasing among people. Medical students have a very demanding stressful life and have often been found to develop an unhealthy lifestyle.

Objectives: To find out the level of physical activity among the medical students, the gaps between their knowledge and practice and the prevalence of obesity among the students.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was done among 101 medical students of 3rd year (35.6% were females and 64.4% were males) in a medical college in Delhi and assess their knowledge and practices of physical activities using a predesigned standard questionnaire (IPAQ). Data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 and descriptive statistics was presented.

Result: Thirty five (34.7%) partcipants only had knowledge of recommended physical activities but only twenty nine (28.7%) participants believed that the recommended physical activity is more than or equal to 150 minutes in a week. 41 (40.6%) had Low activity, 45 (44.6%) were sufficiently active or Moderately active, and 15 (14.8%) had High activity. 20 (19.8%) were overweight and 31 (30.7%) were obese. Males [26(40%)] were found to be significantly more obese than females [5(13.8%)] (P=0.001).

Conclusion: There is a high level of physical inactivity and obesity among medical students. Knowledge about physical activity has been increasing over the years among the medical students, but that knowledge is not converting into practice. There is a dire need for health promotional activity and behaviour change communication for increasing physical activity among medical students.


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