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East Mediterr Health J. 2004 Jul-Sep;10(4-5):663-70.

Prevalence of physical inactivity in Saudi Arabia: a brief review.

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  • 1Exercise Physiology Laboratory, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Major lifestyle changes in recent years in Saudi Arabia may be leading to physical inactivity and a low level of physical fitness. This paper reviews the current literature about physical inactivity in the Saudi Arabian population and discusses its implications for health. Available data from a small number of studies suggests a high prevalence (43.3%-99.5%) of physical inactivity among Saudi children and adults alike. Furthermore, the proportion of Saudi children and adults who are at risk due to inactivity is much higher than for any other coronary heart disease risk factor. It is recommended that a national policy encouraging activity in daily life be established and more studies are carried out to address physical activity patterns with representative samples of the Saudi Arabian population.

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