Background: Physical inactivity is among the leading risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Saudi Arabia has only recently begun to address physical inactivity as recent studies have shown an alarming prevalence of insufficiently physically active adults. Saudi women are identified as among the least active worldwide and with an increase in the number of women in office based jobs, the risk of physical inactivity is likely to increase. Aim: The aim of this study is to establish the level of physical activity and body weight index and their determinants among Saudi women working in office based jobs in Riyadh City. Method: A cross- sectional study of 420 Saudi women aged 18 to 58 years working in office based jobs in eight worksites in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia were measured to determine body mass index and given a self-administered survey to evaluate the prevalence of inactivity among this sample. Results: Results showed the majority of subjects to be overweight or obese (58.3%) with a monthly family income of less than 10,000 Saudi Riyals (2,667 USD) and working in the public versus private sector being significant predictors of overweight and obesity. More than half (52.1%) were insufficiently physically active with those working seven or more hours and working in private versus public sector jobs found to be significant predictors of low physical activity. Conclusion: This study identified Saudi women working in office based jobs as a high risk group for overweight, obesity and physical inactivity. Saudi women may have fewer opportunities for physical activity due to the harsh climate and societal restrictions. As sedentary jobs may compound the risk for obesity and physical inactivity, this may support the use of workplace health programs to reduce sitting time and promote physical activity as a viable public health initiative.
Citation: Albawardi NM, Jradi H, Al-Hazzaa HM (2015) Levels and Determinants of Physical Activity and Body Mass Index among Saudi Women Working in Office Jobs in Riyadh City. Occup Med Health Aff 3:196.