Seyi Elizabeth Ogunsile, David Ibikunle Adeagbo, Eunice Oluyemisi Alebiosu


The rate at which obesity is increasing among tertiary institution students in Nigeria is alarming. Physical inactivity, consumption of energy-dense foods, and sitting down for long hours are some of the risk factors for obesity that have been commonly reported among them. To reduce the risk of obesity, participation in leisure-time activities (LTA) is essential. This study was therefore carried out to determine the extent to which tertiary institution students engage in LTA and the relationship this has with their body mass index (BMI). A correlational research was carried out among 220 students selected using a multi-stage sampling procedure from Ekiti State University (EKSU) Nigeria. A self-developed, validated questionnaire was used to collect the data on respondents’ demographic characteristics, anthropometric measurements and frequency of participation in LTA. Spearman correlation analysis was used to determine the relationship between participation in LTA and BMI. All inferences were made at 0.05 level of significance. The majority (80%) of the respondents had a moderate level of participation in LTA. Also, leisure-time reading (Mean=3.30, SD=1.3) and watching TV/ listening to the news (Mean=2.90, SD=1.4), were the most commonly performed LTA among respondents. Lower BMI was associated with the participation in LTA that is rigorous in nature, while higher BMI was associated with the LTA that is sedentary in nature. This study revealed that participating in LTA that is rigorous in nature helps to maintain a normal body mass index better than LTA that is sedentary in nature. The findings of this study will go a long way in providing useful information to the physical and health education teams on the differences in the influence of sedentary and rigorous LTAs on the health of tertiary institution students. This is likely to guide the planning of programmes to encourage tertiary institution students to engage more in LTAs that are more rigorous.


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