Physical Activities of Young Girls in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Elham A. Aljaaly


Arab Journal of Nutrition and Exercise, Vol. 1, No. 3

Published on 24th December 2016


Background: Physical education classes are non-existent in Saudi girls’ curriculum at all educational levels and physical activities are not permitted at public schools. The study aimed to assess physical activities for female students in intermediate and high schools.

Methods: A questionnaire was completed by 1519 participants from 18 schools in Jeddah City. Activities at school and after school were reported. About 63% of the girls preferred to have physical education classes at school.

Results: Girls thought that they were performing (43.2%) enough physical activities and (74%) rated themselves as performing an average level of physical activity in comparison with their peers. Only 32% linked the importance of physical activities to their health. Cars are the main transportation methods to and from school (87 %) and 8% walked to school. Some physical activities (59.2%) are performed at school [walking during break times (42%) or running (5.2%)]. Only 40% were involved in light activities after school while 54% participated in washing up or cleaning the house. Other activities outside school, e.g. walking, shopping, bowling, horse riding and table tennis was reported by 48% of the participants. Moderate activities such as swimming, cycling, dancing, or competitive running was reported by 70% of the respondents. Only 13% joining fitness centers.

Conclusion: Results emphasized the central role and obligation of decision makers in protecting young consumers through providing a healthy environment in schools



Physical activity; Schoolgirls; Weight status; Waist circumference; Saudi Arabia

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