Original Research

Relationships between physical activity, body mass index, waist circumference and handgrip strength amongst adults from the North West province, South Africa: The PURE study

Sindisiwe Shozi, Makama A. Monyeki, Sarah J. Moss, Cindy Pienaar
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 14, No 1 | a3206 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v14i1.3206 | © 2022 Sindisiwe Shozi, Makama A. Monyeki, Sarah J. Moss, Cindy Pienaar | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 August 2021 | Published: 23 May 2022

About the author(s)

Sindisiwe Shozi, Physical Activity, Sport, and Recreation Research Focus Area, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Makama A. Monyeki, Physical Activity, Sport, and Recreation Research Focus Area, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Sarah J. Moss, Physical Activity, Sport, and Recreation Research Focus Area, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Cindy Pienaar, Physical Activity, Sport, and Recreation Research Focus Area, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa; and, Department of Sport Studies, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Handgrip strength (HGS) serves as a proxy for the functional ability and its association with body composition (BC) and physical activity (PA) in South African adults are less clear.

Aim: We investigated the relationships between PA, body composition and HGS amongst adults.

Setting: Rural and urban population from North West Province, South Africa.

Methods: A cross-sectional study design was performed on 688 (198 men; 490 women) adults aged 35–70 years from the 2015 measurement wave of the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study from the North West province of South Africa. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form (IPAQ-SF) assessed and a dynamometer determined HGS in kilogram. Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference were used as measures of body composition. Spearman correlation coefficients determined the relationship between PA, BMI and HGS.

Results: In the study, 22% and 26%, respectively, were overweight and obese with women being more overweight and obese compared to men. Sixty percent of the participants met the recommended 150 min or more of moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) per week. Handgrip strength of the participants in the study was weaker than the published norms. Handgrip strength significantly (p < 0.05) differed by age. A significant positive association was found between HGS and BMI. Age negatively (r = –0.12; p = 0.001) correlated with MVPA per week.

Conclusion: High prevalence of overweight and obesity exists in the current adults’ sample. It was also evident that poor upper limb muscle strength and MVPA were negatively associated with ageing. Given the health implications of poor strength indicators, PA intervention programmes, comprised of strength activities, for an adult population are urgently recommended.


Keywords

physical activity; handgrip strength; obesity; body mass index; adults; South African

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