Students’ physical activity in Surgut and Karaganda: comparative analysis

Dr.Biol., Professor S.I. Loginov1
A.Yu. Nikolaev1
Dr.Med., Professor N.K. Smagulov2
PhD, Associate Professor V.Yu. Losev1
1Surgut State University, Surgut
2Karaganda State Medical University, Karaganda, Kazakhstan

Keywords: IPAQ, physical activity, students, Russia, Kazakhstan.

Introduction. Decreased physical activity is a widespread and steadily progressing phenomenon [15]. Insufficient physical activity has a negative impact on students’ health and their educational activi-ties [5], especially in the uncomfortable conditions of Yugra, where the oil-and-gas fields have been ac-tively produced for more than 50 years now. The small and mid-sized towns of the region, which are in-tensively developing with its population being influenced by the climatic and geographic, socio-economic, cultural and medico-ecological factors, are commonly known as the urbanized Yugra North [1]. The study of physical activity of the population of this region is a major challenge since Yugra holds a special place in the Russian economy. To meet the challenge, a sociological questionnaire survey is usually used [2, 8], as well as the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-RU) [3]. The questionnaire has proven itself in studying the level of daily physical activity of the Yugra population. An important target group here are Surgut students, whose physical activity is not sufficiently studied as compared to the students from near and far abroad.
Objective of the study was to analyze and compare everyday physical activity of the Karaganda State Medical University and Surgut State University student population (n=237 and n=376, respectively) by IPAQ survey form.
Methods and structure of the study. Sampled for the study were 237 students of Karaganda State Medical University and 376 students of Surgut State University. The participants completed a Rus-sian version of the long International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) [4]. In each of the 4 IPAQ sections (physical activity at work, while moving (commuting), while performing housework, physical activity at leisure), the participants were asked to indicate the frequency of physical activity in the last 7 days (number of days) and its duration (hours and minutes). The primary data were processed in accord-ance with the recommendations of the full version of the standard protocol of the base English version of IPAQ [10]. The physical activity survey data were classified for analysis into the low-intensity physical activity (LIPA) with metabolic equivalent МЕТ<1.5; moderate-intensity physical activity (MIPA) with MET=3-6; and high-intensity physical activity (HIPA) with MET>6 (1 МЕТ equals 3.5ml/kg or 1 kcal/h/ kg of body mass). Analyzed separately was the physically inactive group with physical activity under 10 min/day. Energy costs were calculated for every group with the relevant MET rate. The data arrays were statistically processed by the standard Statistica-10 (StatSoft, USA) toolkit, with calculations of the arithmetic mean < X->, median <Ме>, standard deviation <SD>; and the confidence interval <± CI 0.95>.
Results and discussion. The studies showed that the physical activity of the Karaganda State Medical University students was higher than that of the Surgut State University students (in all sections), as evidenced by the weekly energy consumption rate (Fig. 1).
The number of physically low-active students, regardless of their gender, reached more than one third in Surgut and only one eighth in Karaganda. There were more moderately active students in Surgut. In Karaganda, the ratio of highly physically active male students was 2.5 times higher, and that of the fe-male students - 3.6 times higher (Fig. 2).

Fig. 1. Indicators of weekly energy consumption in terms of physical activity of Karaganda State Medical University (n=237) and Surgut State University (n=376) sample population according to IPAQ. Weekly energy consumption, MET, min/week
* – significance level, p<0.05


Fig. 2. Distribution of Surgut State University and Karaganda State Medical University students by phys-ical activity level (%)

The major differences revealed in the level of physical activity of the students from Karaganda and Surgut require further explanation and discussion.
The same IPAQ questionnaire was used as an evaluation tool, since it had turned out to be a well-behaved method in studying physical activity of students in other countries: Ukraine [6], Croatia [12], Turkey [13], France [9], Poland [7]. Therefore, there was a low probability of conflicted information on the part of the questionnaire. With its help, it was shown that the physical activity of the Ukrainian stu-dents in such sections as total physical activity, physical activity at work, while moving (commuting), performing housework and at leisure was in the format of mean ± standard deviation (X̅±SD) equal to: 4233±3434 MET-min/week; 945±1692; 860±1123; 1096±1208; 1332±1510, respectively. At the same time, the students of the University of Pecs (Hungary), University of Kosice (Slovakia), University of Olomouc (Czech Republic) and the State School of Higher Education in Biala Podlaska (Poland), aged 20.5±2.1 years on average, demonstrated higher indicators in the same sections, namely: 5589±5332; 1670±2595; 1123±1546; 1132±1500; 1644±2060, respectively [13], which matches the data obtained in the students from Kazakhstan. The data obtained in the students from Karaganda match the findings of the cross-sectional study that involved 300 medical students from Silesia (Poland) [7]. According to IPAQ, 46% of future physiotherapists were characterized by the high intensity physical activity (Kara-ganda - 62%, Surgut - 20%), 54% - by the moderate intensity physical activity (Karaganda - 25%, Surgut - 45%), and 26% of Polish medical students – by the low intensity physical activity (Karaganda - 12%, Surgut - 34%). Similar data in Ukraine are: 12.3; 71.8, and 14.9%, respectively.
The research conducted in the University of Zagreb in Croatia [11] revealed a slightly different picture in various sections (1163 students, 29 faculties and 7 private colleges, 62.4% - females). The au-thors used the median and interquartile ranks, since there were a lot of zero values, i.e. some subjects had large amounts of physical activity, while others did nothing. The amount of energy spent on physical ac-tivity was on average: while moving - 235 MET-min/week (interquartile ranks - 320), while performing housework - 120 (310); at leisure - 210 (360); high-intensity physical activity - 0 (135); moderate-intensity physical activity - 210 (420); when walking - 390 (620), and total physical activity - 3133 (4122) MET-min/week. These data agree with the results obtained in Surgut, nevertheless, it is clear that the physical activity of the Surgut students was lower than that of their peers from other countries and Kazakhstan. The time spent on sedentary work was significantly greater in the Surgut students than in the Karaganda and European ones.
The proximate cause of the lack of physical activity among the Surgut students is cold climate, which predisposes to spend more time indoors, be absorbed in work, play computer games, be active on social networks, and decreases their motivation for physical exercises.
The number of students with mostly sedentary lifestyle has increased in the last decade due to the increased use of computers and many hours of daily communication on the Internet. Screen time, such as sitting at a computer, TV or a video game, significantly reduces the level of physical activity, although before the advent of social networks, people spent from 2.8 to 11.6 hours per week sitting at a computer [14]. Nowadays, most students use screen time instead of leisure, and it has increased by a multiple. They started abusing gadgets that provide ample opportunities for virtual communication, receiving information online anytime and anywhere. On the other hand, gadgets can also be used to advantage to control physical activity, for example, using the S_Health program on Samsung smartphones. This program pro-vides an opportunity to measure physical activity indicators, interactively participate in various collective events, and exchange information on energy consumption and nutrition. A lot of people have the program, but not too many use it. This and other physical activity optimization programs can be promoted through pedagogical services.
Conclusion. IPAQ-RU made it possible to carry out a descriptive analysis of physical activity of students of two universities in Surgut and Karaganda under the same methodological conditions and compare the results obtained with the indicators in European students.

The work was carried out with the financial support from the Department of Education and Youth Policy of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region - Yugra as part of the State Assignment “Developing and implementing new technological concepts of optimization of physical activity and health, establishing regularities of bodily responses to physical loads of different modality in conditions of KhMAR-Yugra”.

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Corresponding author: logsi@list.ru

Abstract
Rapidly expanding physical inactivity is reported the world over and commonly known to be of detri-mental effect on the academic health and progress rates. This holds particularly true for the harsh climatic conditions of the Russian Yugra North with its intensive oil-and-gas production for the last 50 years. The local towns and cities intensively grow in the local harsh climatic, geographic, social, economic, cultural, medical and biological conditions collectively referred to as the urban Yugra North environment.
Objective of the study was to analyze and compare everyday physical activity of the Karaganda State Medical University and Surgut State University student population (n=237 and n=376, respectively) by IPAQ survey form.
The physical activity survey data were classified for analysis into the low-intensity physical activity (LIPA) with metabolic equivalent МЕТ<1.5; moderate-intensity physical activity (MIPA) with MET=3-6; and high-intensity physical activity (HIPA) with MET>6 (1 МЕТ equals 3.5ml/kg or 1 kcal/h/ kg of body mass). Analyzed separately was the physically inactive group with physical activity under 10 min/day. Energy costs were calculated for every group with the relevant MET rate. The data arrays were statistically processed by the standard Statistica-10 (StatSoft, USA) toolkit, with calculations of the mean arithmetic value < X->, median <Ме>, standard deviation <SD>; and the confidence interval <± CI 0.95>.
The study found roughly one of three Surgut and one of eight Karaganda students being physically inac-tive irrespective of the gender, with the middle-active share being larger in Surgut. Karaganda was found leading in the highly-active male and female populations – estimated 2.5 and 3.6 times (respectively) larger than in Surgut. It was concluded that the Surgut students’ PA is lower than in Kazakhstan and other countries, with the sitting physically inactive behavior meaningfully more habitual than in their Karaganda and European peers.