The Association of Physical Activity and Diet with Metabolic Syndrome among University Students in Kenya


  • Samuel Mungai Mbugua, Mount Kenya University, Kenya.
  • Gilbert Munyoki Kenyatta University, Kenya
  • Samuel Thuo Kimani University of Nairobi, Kenya.



Sedentary lifestyle, Dietary Habits, Metabolic Syndrome, Physical Activity


The occurrence of these lifestyle related practices and dietary habits at early age has been shown to increase the predisposition towards metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome refers to disorders occurring together resulting in an increase in the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Prevalence rate was established at 1.9% indicative of occurrence of predisposing risks of metabolic syndrome in university students. A cross-sectional, quantitative research design was used. 323 participants were sampled from a population of 40,000 students with stratification according to the various school sizes. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. 61.3% of the respondents did not exercise regularly, 72.3% snacked frequently, 60.6% of the subjects that were not diagnosed with metabolic syndrome were fit, 37.2% needed to work on their fitness while only 2.2% were out of shape. The relationship between sedentary lifestyle as a risk factor and metabolic syndrome was statistically significant, as was the relationship between dietary habits and metabolic syndrome. The study established that 85.4% of the subjects were not sure of the amount of calories they consumed in a day and 13.9% of the subjects reported they had weight issues that affected their academics. Modifications in lifestyle habits, physical activity and dietary composition can result in a positive impact on metabolic syndrome and its progression. A mandatory extra co-curricular program requiring students to participate in exercise and sports activities should be enforced to positively engage university students. Vulnerable groups such as the pre-hypertensive and obese should also be closely monitored.


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How to Cite

Samuel Mungai Mbugua, Gilbert Munyoki, & Samuel Thuo Kimani. (2020). The Association of Physical Activity and Diet with Metabolic Syndrome among University Students in Kenya. International Journal of Advances in Scientific Research and Engineering, IJASRE (ISSN: 2454 - 8006), 6(6), 106-114.