Association between physical activity and activity space in different farming seasons among rural Lao PDR residents


Background Southeast Asia is experiencing a health transition, where non-communicable diseases (NCD) are exceeding communicable diseases. Despite NCDs accounting for roughly 60-85% of deaths in the region, many developing Southeast Asian countries are beginning to address the impacts of a physically inactive lifestyle for the first time. Our study aims to bridge this gap by objectively measuring physical activity in rural Lao PDR to reveal the association among physical activity, activity space, and seasonal variation. Methods Multiple waves of survey data were collected in Songkhon District, Lao PDR between March 2010 and March 2011. Adults aged between 18 and 65 were recruited (n = 48). A portable GPS recorded participants' activity and farmland locations and an accelerometer recorded participants' physical activity level and daily steps for seven consecutive days. Using a directional distribution tool in ArcGIS 10.5, the activity space area of each participant in each wave was calculated. Concurrently, participants recorded time spent on each daytime activity. Linear mixed models with the fixed effects as the observations from different waves and the random effects as individual participants were developed to identify factors associated with areas of activity space and counts of daily steps, respectively. Results A total of 48 respondents aged between 19 and 57 took part in the study. Half of the participants were females. Walking was found to be the most frequent travel mode. Females were physically less active, with a smaller activity space, and were more overweight than the males in the study. Participants were physically less active during the off-farming seasons. Conclusions Findings contribute to the surveillance of risk factors needed to create healthy living environments. Our research is also one of the first to use empirical evidence demonstrating seasonal variations of rural residents' activities in mainland Southeast Asia.

Physical activity, Activity space, Rural Lao PDR, GPS and accelerometer, Farming seasons, BUILT ENVIRONMENTS, INACTIVITY, WORLDWIDE, QUESTIONNAIRE, RELIABILITY, COUNTRIES, OBESITY, WALKING, Tropical Medicine
Jiang, H., Lin, L., Yonto, D. A., Pongvongsa, T., Kounnavong, S., & Moji, K. (2021). Association between physical activity and activity space in different farming seasons among rural Lao PDR residents. In Tropical Medicine and Health (Vol. 49, Issue 1). Springer Science and Business Media LLC.