Introduction Tobacco addiction, obesity, hypertension and physical inactivity are common risk factors of non-communicable diseases. Information on the prevalence of risk factors is needed for inter alia planning of services. Sample A community-based sample of 99 subjects of both genders, aged 20 to 59 years, was randomly selected. Method Smoking status and physical activity levels were determined using a questionnaire. Hypertension (systolic blood pressure >160mmHg / diastolic blood pressure >90mmHg) and obesity (body mass index (8MI) >30kg/m2, waist-hip ratio (WHR) >1(males), >0.84 (females» were measured. Results Of the sample, 25% smoked, 6% were hypertensive, 19%(8MI) and 12%(WHR) were obese, 23% inactive at work and 25% inactive during leisure time. Seventy-eight percent did not participate in sport. Each subject had at least one risk factor. Conclusion Socio-economical, behavioural, psychological and cultural factors appear to influence the prevalence rates. Despite relatively low prevalence rates, high-¬risk groups were identified such as male smokers and obese females. Promoting physical activity by physiotherapists as part of comprehensive intervention programmes appears especially appropriate due to its inter-relationship with other risk factors. Prevention and treatment of risk factors should be a health priority.
Dissertation (MSc (Physiotherapy Management))--University of Pretoria, 2005.