Health habits and physical activity level of anaesthetists in an academic department

Mampana, Norah Mogolongwane
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Background Information of doctors’ physical health is limited. The aim of this study is to describe the health habits and physical activity level of anaesthetists working in the Department of Anaesthesiology at the University of the Witwatersrand. Methods A prospective, descriptive and contextual research design was followed. Using convenience sampling, a self-administered, anonymous, questionnaire consisting of three sections: demographics, health habits and physical activity was distributed. The physical activity section consisted of the World Health Organization’s Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ). Results A total of 152 questionnaires were distributed and a148 (97.4%) were returned. Of the anaesthetists 82.4% rated their general health as good to excellent and 56.1% had taken sick leave in the previous year. Amongst anaesthetists, 30.8% were overweight and 12.6% were obese and 48% ate a healthy diet. Of anaesthetists, 82.4% have never smoked. In the previous two years 42.2% of female anaesthetists had had a clinical breast examination. An adequate level of physical activity as recommended by the GPAQ was obtained by 74.3% of anaesthetists. Conclusion This study has shown that health habits of anaesthetists are variable and that three quarter of anaesthetists engaged in an adequate level of physical activity. There is room for improvement which may contribute to the personal and professional well-being of anaesthetists.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Medicine in the branch of Anaesthesiology. Johannesburg, 2019