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Fifty per cent of Omanis exercise every day: Study.

Muscat: Omani citizens and residents maintain a healthy lifestyle, a study carried out in the Sultanate says. The study indicates positive health trends adopted by Omani residents as compared to the findings of previous surveys.

The independent study conducted by Zarca Interactive, a leading provider of next generation information gathering and data analysis technology, saw the participation of 309 respondents.

The positive health trends for Oman were also reflected in the exercise patterns followed by the respondents. The Zarca study revealed that over 50 per cent respondents claimed to exercise at least three times a week, with only 9 per cent confirming that they did not exercise at all.

A majority of the respondents said they are hooked on to Internet and television to relieve their stress, instead of opting for any kind of physical activity.

This finding was further emphasised by the result that over 41 per cent of the survey respondents bring work home daily, at least two-three times a week, which included 28 per cent Omani national respondents.

The respondent base of the survey in the nationwide study included 54 per cent Omani nationals and over 35 per cent Asian and Sub-continent expatriates.

The male to female ratio was approximately 70: 30 in the survey of which over 27 per cent respondents were in the age group of 35-44 years.

As per the findings of the survey, a massive 80 per cent respondent base confirmed eating breakfast every day, of which another 80 per cent confirmed they ate breakfast at their home.

Toast with cereals along with coffee/tea emerged as the most favoured breakfast items. Approximately six in every 10 Omani nationals claimed consuming eggs in breakfast.

Over 67 per cent respondents confirmed adopting the healthy habit of consuming three meals a day. This is supported by another survey finding which says three quarters (72 per cent respondents) of Omani nationals believe that healthy eating constitutes of a mixture of food including carbohydrates, protein, fibre and fats.

Although the Q3 findings revealed good health trends in the region, the survey also indicates that 47 per cent of the respondents consume fried foods at least two-three times a week. However, almost 37 per cent respondents confirmed eating fried foods only on weekends.

The findings confirmed a high level of awareness about calculating Body Mass Index (BMI) with over 53 per cent respondents claiming to know how to calculate it.

The findings were supported by the fact that 59 per cent respondents found themselves obese or overweight, while 33 per cent claiming to be in the appropriate weight zone.

"The Q3 health and fitness study results continue to identify prevalent health and fitness practices in Oman which in turn enables us to develop a health and fitness awareness index on prevailing health concerns across the GCC," said Javed Farooqui, executive director & head, Middle East and Africa Zarca Interactive.

We are confident that the comprehensive and advanced findings of Zarca's Health and Fitness study have been instrumental towards educating the Omani residents about a healthier lifestyle and motivating them towards the adoption of good health practices," he said.

Opting for organic foods against regular or non-organic foods is also a trend that is not progressing rapidly as 48 percent of the respondents were either not aware about this option or did not consider it as a healthy choice. Also, 45 per cent confirmed consuming unhealthy foods such as chocolates and candies thrice a week to daily.

The intake of multi-vitamins as a regular diet met with uncertainty, wherein 33 per cent considering them expensive. A meagre 10 per cent respondent base continued with their multivitamin doses on a daily basis. More than 78 per cent were highly aware about the manufacturing and expiry dates.

Similar awareness trend was witnessed amongst the respondents with regards to the self-monitoring of key health parameters. The survey has indicated that 38 percent of respondents go for a general medical checkup to monitor their health and overall health issues, annually.

Awareness and willingness to adopt a healthy lifestyle is the key to living a well-balanced life.

Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2011

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Article Type:Clinical report
Date:Dec 26, 2011
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