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Physical activity correlates in people with anxiety: Data from 46 low- and middle-income countries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Davy Vancampfort, Brendon Stubbs, Ai Koyanagi

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
Early online date7 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


King's Authors


Objective There is a lack of nationally-representative data on the correlates of physical activity (PA) among people with anxiety symptoms. Thus, we investigated PA correlates among community-dwelling adults with anxiety symptoms in 46 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) using predominantly nationally-representative data. Method Cross-sectional data from the World Health Survey were analysed. PA was assessed by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and participants were dichotomised into those that do (≥ 150 min moderate-vigorous PA) and do not (< 150 min) meet recommended PA weekly targets. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the correlates. Results The analysis included 24,850 people with anxiety symptoms (43.3 ± 16.6 years; 39.7% males). The prevalence of low PA was 33.1% (95%CI = 31.6%–34.6%). Older age [e.g., OR = 4.57 for age ≥ 65 vs. 18–24 years], not married/cohabiting (vs. married/cohabiting OR = 1.36), being in the richest quintile (vs. poorest OR = 1.41), unemployed (vs. employed OR = 2.18), inadequate vegetable consumption (vs. adequate OR = 1.66), and poor sleep/energy, worse cognition, pain/discomfort and mobility difficulties were all significant correlates of low PA. Conclusions PA is associated with a range of factors among people with anxiety symptoms. Future interventions might target the identified correlates in order to facilitate people with anxiety to be more physically active.

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