Physical activity and its relation with body composition among undergraduate medical students in Delhi: a cross sectional study

Geeta Yadav, Suman Bodat, Ishaan Siwach, Karan Sachdeva, Nitesh Chuahan


Background: Physical inactivity and overweight are leading risk factors for global mortality, responsible for 6% and 5% of deaths worldwide due to chronic non communicable diseases. It is well established that regular moderate or vigorous-intensity exercise lowers the risks and symptoms associated with the co-morbidities of obesity. The stress involved in meeting responsibilities of becoming a physician may adversely affect the exercise habits of students. So, the current study aimed to study physical activity and its relation with body composition among under-graduate medical students.

Methods: It was a cross-sectional study among 282 medical students. International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) Short form was used to measure total physical activity (PA) and body composition parameters including Waist circumference, WHR, BMI, Body Fat% were assessed and analyzed using SPSS version 21.

Results: Out of 282 medical students 33%, 45.3%, &21.3% were involved in low, moderate and high physical activity. ANOVAs between different levels of physical activities according to IPAQ categories showed significant difference for Waist Hip Ratio (F:3.8; p=0.02) and Body Fat percentage (F=5.7; p=0.00). There was an inverse and statistically significant correlation between physical activity and Waist circumference, Body Fat% and Waist –Hip Ratio.

Conclusions: Medical Students involved in higher level of physical activity have significantly lower body Fat% level and WHR as compared to those belonging to lower and moderate activity group thus there is a need to actively promote physical activity among medical students.


Body fat%, IPAQ, Medical students, Physical activity, Waist hip ratio

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