Academic journal article Nebula

The Prevalence of Hypokinetic Disorders among Workers in Tertiary Institutions in Ekiti State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Nebula

The Prevalence of Hypokinetic Disorders among Workers in Tertiary Institutions in Ekiti State, Nigeria

Article excerpt


Physical activity was enjoyed throughout everyday prehistoric life as an integral component of religious, social and cultural expression. Food supplies for the most part were plentiful, allowing ample time for both rest and recreational physical endeavours (U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 1996). Historically speaking, the majority of the populace in Nigeria were farmers, moving from home to farmlands near and far. People were used to hard work, intense and strenuous exertion. Life depended on rigorous physical activity both in occupation and recreation. But the advent of western education that resulted to white collar jobs and pleasure seeking life had drastically reduced exposure to physical activity.

The public servants are the set of people affected by the industrial revolution and urbanization which resulted to sedentarism and associated problems. Hypokinetic disorders are the resultant effect of the decrease in physical activity. McArdle, Kalch and Kalch (2007) reported that inactivity alone resulted in a constellation of problems and conditions eventually leading to premature death. They further noted that sedentary death syndrome (SeDS) relates to high blood cholesterol, high blood glucose, hypertension, myocardial ischemia, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure and obesity.

There is overwhelming scientific evidence highlighting the health, social and psychological benefits associated with an active lifestyle. However, physical activity remains the most underutilized low cost health resource in the world (Travis, 2003). Increased exposure to western lifestyle and eating habits which are characteristics of urban African environment and decreased participation in physical activity are contributing factors to increase in health problems. According to Brundland, (2003), there has been a shift away from traditional diets to high density diets with high levels of fats, sugar, and salts. Although under nutrition and food shortages are still major problems in Africa, Nigeria in particular, diet related chronic diseases are on the increase.

A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to development of coronary artery diseases of adulthood that are major causes of death and disability. (Nelson, Goldberg and Harris, 1992; Riddoch, Savage, Murphy, Cran and Borehan, 1991). Modern technology has also lessened the physical demands of everyday activities like cleaning the house, washing clothes, mowing the lawn and traveling to work. As a result, more time is available to pursue leisure activities. The unfortunate fact, however, is that many individuals pursue sedentary activities. What would have once required an hour of physical work can now be accomplished in just a few seconds by pushing a button or setting a dial. Hence Physical inactivity has lead to a rise in hypokinetic diseases. The prefix hypo means "lack of" and kinetic refers to movement. Although the human body is design for movement and strenuous physical activity, exercise is not part of the average lifestyle of most Nigerians who have also not develop the culture of attaining fitness through regular exercise (Akindutire, 1994). One cannot expect the human body to function optimally and to remain healthy for extended periods if the body is abused or not use as intended (Bouchard and Depres, 1995).

Individuals who do not exercise regularly have a greater risk of developing hypo-kinetic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, cancer, obesity muscular skeletal disorder (Washborn and Figoni, 1998). Although exercise is only one important factor associate with reduced risk of hypokinetic disease and condition, nutrition, smoking, lifestyle, hereditary, stress, age and environment cannot be overlooked as important risk factors. However, Corbin & Lindsey, Heyward, (2002) reported that scientist and health fitness professionals affirm that physical activity is the best defence against many diseases and disorders. …

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