A Comparative Cross-Sectional Assessment of the Preventive and Healthy Lifestyle Practices of Doctors in Port Harcourt, Rivers State


  • O Otokunefor Department of Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, University of Port Harcourt.
  • EI Azi Department of Community Medicine, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.


Port Harcourt, preventive health, exercise, doctors, Lifestyle


Introduction: Lifestyle modification in relation to disease prevention and outcome has recently received increasing awareness around the world and in Nigeria. Poor lifestyle choices make people susceptible to many chronic illnesses including thirteen cancers. Medical doctors are gate keepers and educators of health.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the level of knowledge of healthy living and preventive health among doctors in Port-Harcourt and ascertain the practices and to investigate the barriers and facilitators of healthy living among doctors in Port-Harcourt.

Methods: It was a comparative cross-sectional study with purposive sampling method. The tool used was an online questionnaire. MS Excel and SPSS was used for data analysis. Ethical approval was obtained from UPTH ethical committee.

Results: A total of 201 doctors participated. With 54.7% being females and 53.2% within the 30-40 years age group. Resident doctors accounted for 42.8%. 92% received some form of lifestyle education; seminars (48.1%), CME’s (47.0%), and social media (44.9%) were the top three. Just 15.2% knew what the daily portion of fruit was and 82.6% knew the cut off for obesity. 50% were aware of the recommended exercise frequency. 60% concluded that adults should sleep for 7-9 hours, however, 61.2% slept for 4-6 hours a day. 84.6% of respondents did not have a dedicated physician.

Conclusion: There is a knowledge gap among doctors which impacts everyday lifestyle choices regarding, diet, exercise and rest. More doctors need their own personal physicians and hospital management should establish strong lifestyle policies.


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How to Cite

Otokunefor , O., & Azi , E. (2023). A Comparative Cross-Sectional Assessment of the Preventive and Healthy Lifestyle Practices of Doctors in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The Nigerian Health Journal, 23(3), 844–851. Retrieved from https://tnhjph.com/index.php/tnhj/article/view/732