Comparison of Physical Status and Systolic Blood Pressure of Female Students in Urban and Rural Areas

Physical activities may improve health and enhance general level of fitness in individuals, especially in students. The aim of this study was to compare physical status and systolic blood pressure of female students in urban and rural areas.
This was a descriptive-comparative study. Through multi-stage cluster sampling, 60 female students, 16-17 years of age, from 1243 high schools of Maragheh were selected and divided into two rural and urban area groups. To collect data, “American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance” tool with validity and reliability in a previous study was used. In the initial stage, systolic blood pressure was measured in three stages of 24 hours, 30 minutes, and right before the fitness test. After measuring physical status in both groups, their systolic blood pressures were measured, right after, 30 minutes, and 24 hours after the test. The data was analyzed by SPSS 21.
The results showed no significant difference in physical status (including sit-ups, jumps, and 4×9 meter agility tests) and systolic blood pressure between urban and rural area groups. However, systolic pressure was significantly different in urban (10.18 ± 1.185) and rural (10.71 ± 0.867) girls after 24 hours of the tests (P = 0.05).
It is clear that blood pressure in the rural girls increased in the post-exercise stage compared with their urban counterparts. Hence, it is recommended that rural girls participate in physical activities to enhance their physical fitness level.
Journal of Health Promotion Management, Volume:5 Issue: 6, 2016
27 to 34  
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