Online Program

Physical activities and health status of a community in transition: A case from southern Iran

Monday, November 2, 2015

Mohammad Shahbazi, PhD, MPH, MCHES, School of Health Sciences (Public Health Program), Jackson State Universtiy, Pearl, MS
Zahra Sarraf, MD, Division of Gyno-oncology; Ob/Gyn - Department, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Hassan Joulaei, Pharm. D., MPH, PhD (c), Health Policy Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Manoj Sharma, MBBS, MCHES, Ph.D., Behavioral and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Jackson State University and Walden University, Jackson, MS
Neda Falsafi, D.M.D, Priave clinic, Shiraz, Iran
Parvin Ghaffari, MD, Divsion of Gyno-oncology, Ob/gyn Department, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
What is known, through literature, is that physical activity (PA) is good for overall human health. It helps with weight control; reduce risk factor for cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. PA also strengthened muscles and bones; improve mood and mental health; improve ability to carry out daily activities and perhaps increase chances of living longer. Such information usually is about the urban dwellers in developed and industrial countries. What is unknown is what changes take place in the health status of a group of pastoral nomadic tribespeople when their lifestyle suddenly changes from a physically active to a settled villager - less active lifestyle? This study aims at answering the state question.

Material and methods: Through a health house with an assigned community health worker, the entire residents of a newly developed village, housing some 300 formerly pastoral nomadic Qashqa’i tribespeople were screened for blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, vision, and obstetrics/gynecological-related  health issues in December 2013 and 2014. Information on diabetes and body mass index (BMI) was recorded for residents age 18 and above. Initial comparison of these two health indicators from 2013 and 2014 indicate a significant increase in BMI and an increase number of diabetic individuals. The results of this study, while supporting existing PA-related literatures, will argue that changes in peoples’ socioeconomic and environmental aspects have other consequences that must be documented. For example, how individuals’ moral and ethical values change when their lifestyles altered from subsistence- to a marker-driven economy? What impacts such changes have on such individuals’ collective cultural values and their Culture?  These are unexplored areas that need to be explored anthropologically and in conjunction with health issues.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss physical activities and demonstrate health consequences for settled populations Present data on the changing health status of a recently settled population showing how less physical activities lead to negative health outcome Describe, anthropologically, how changes in socioeconomic activities may also introduce other changes that have long-term sociocultural impacts which may in turn promote poor health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a medical anthropologist (trained in cultural anthropology and public health), I have conducted research and presented the results of such studies to local, national and international audiences. Additionally, I am a tenured professor in behavioral health promotion and education/public health. Hence, I have demonstrated my skills for such presentations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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