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Scand J Public Health. 2004;32(1):60-7.

Physical inactivity in a country in transition: a population-based survey in Tirana City, Albania.

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  • 1London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.



This paper describes the work and leisure-time physical activity levels of adults living in Tirana City (Albania).


A cross-sectional survey was undertaken in Tirana City in mid-2001. It included 1120 adults aged 25 years and over (response rate=72.7%).


Overall, 19.3% of male and 28.4% of female respondents reported a low level of physical activity at work. During leisure time, 49.5% of men and 57.6% of women (age-standardized prevalence [adjusted to the adult population of Tirana]: 43.4% and 51.9% for men and women respectively) said that they participated in only sedentary activities such as reading and watching television. The gender difference in the likelihood of low physical activity at work and during leisure time was significant even after adjusting for age (age adjusted odds ratios (OR)=1.86 99% confidence interval (CI) 1.12; 3.09 and OR=1.60 99% CI 1.17; 2.22 respectively). The likelihood of leisure-time sedentarity increased with age in both genders but it did not vary significantly with education level or income. Being sedentary during leisure time was also not significantly associated with other unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, including smoking, consumption of vegetables less than six days per week, and daily alcohol intake.


In a country such as Albania that has undergone a rapid transition from a largely unmechanized society, characterized inevitably by high levels of exercise, the generalized high prevalence of low physical activity level during leisure time gives cause for concern regarding future health trends.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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