Prevalence of sufficient MVPA among Thai adults: pooled panel data analysis from Thailand’s surveillance on physical activity 2012–2019

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Background: The role of data in informing decision makers in formulating policy to improve population health is undeniably important. During the past few years, the Thai government has undertaken continuous health promotion campaigns and programs. Nevertheless, evidence of how physical activity (PA) has improved is lacking. This study aims to present PA prevalence and trends from nationally-representative surveillance data collected during 2012–2019. Methods: This study employed 8 rounds of Thailand’s Surveillance on Physical Activity (SPA) survey from 2012 to 2019 as a pooled analysis from two-panel data (SPA2012–2016 and SPA2017–2019). Multistage random sampling was applied to select Thai adults aged 18 or over to produce a nationally-representative dataset, by considering the place of residence (urban or rural), gender, and single year of age. Face-to-face interviews using a structured questionnaire were conducted in 5 regions, 13 provinces, and 36 villages to follow up 5648 individuals in Panel 1 (SPA2012–2016) and 6074 persons in Panel 2 (SPA2017–2019). Results: The prevalence (%) of Thai adults who met WHO recommendations on sufficient PA tended to increase over time, from 66.6 (CI 65–68) in SPA2012 to 70.1 (CI 69–71), 69.5 (CI 68–71), 73.1 (CI 72–74), 70.6 (CI 69–72), 73.0 (CI 72–74), 75.6 (CI 74–77), and 74.3 (73–75) in SPA2013–2019, respectively. Thai females are less physically active than males, and the prevalence of sufficient moderate and vigorous PA (MVPA) was highest among middle-aged adults (35–64 years), and lowest among older adults (65+ years). Work-related PA dominated the cumulative minutes of MVPA per week, followed by recreational PA. Conclusion: The prevalence of sufficient MVPA has fluctuated over time with a tendency to increase in the most recent years. Work-related is the most common modes of PA among Thai adults, implying further improvement in recreational physical activity is required. Workplace intervention should also be the focus in improving PA of Thai adults by encouraging their work force to engage in more occupational PA.




Katewongsa, P., Yousomboon, C., Haemathulin, N., Rasri, N., & Widyastari, D. A. (2021). Prevalence of sufficient MVPA among Thai adults: pooled panel data analysis from Thailand’s surveillance on physical activity 2012–2019. BMC Public Health, 21(1).

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