Physical Activity, Aerobic Fitness and Body Composition among Students in Malaysia and Libya

Mohd Radzani Abdul Razak, Ibrahim Elsalhin Maizi, Tajul Arifin Muhamad

Abstract


The purpose of this study is to compare the physical activity (PA), exercise time and Body Composition, Body Mass Index (BMI), % Body fat (%BF) and aerobic fitness (VO2max) among students in the Faculty of Education UKM Malaysia and Faculty of Education Sabha University Libya (SUL). Respondents drawn from both faculties of education of the two institutions were of average age between 18-25 years. Four-site skinfold thicknesses and Queen’s College Step Test (QCT) were used to determine the percentage body fat (%BF) and aerobic fitness (VO2max) respectively. Physical activity pattern and health status were also assessed by means of the seven days activity of self-reported questionnaire. The study showed a significant difference in terms of moderate (8.59 hrs/wk, 7.48 hrs/wk; t=-3.3, p=.001) and vigorous (4.3 hrs/wk, 6.3 hrs/wk; (t= -7.7, p= .000) time spent in exercising. This also similar with scores for BMI (SUL: m = 22.2; UKM: m = 24.4) and %BF (SUL: m = 13.6%; UKM: m = 16.3%) among students of both SUL (Libya) and UKM (Malaysia). However, analyses revealed that there was no significant difference in VO2max between student-teachers of SUL and UKM (t= -.99, p = .324). This study concludes that participants score an above average of 44 ml.kg -¹ .min -¹ that are considered as being in good fitness and good health. Although SUL students scored lower BMI and less %BF than participants from UKM who reported engaging more time in vigorous physical activity, SUL participants spent significant time in moderate exercises. Lifestyle among student-teachers of UKM Malaysia and SUL Libya did not differ in terms of aerobic fitness but showed significant influence of moderate exercises towards BMI and %BF as for Libyan participants spent more time in moderate activities like walking and gardening.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n16p168

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Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)

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