Physical Inactivity: Prevalence and Associated Variables in Brazilian Adults


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Abstract

HALLAL, P. C., C. G. VICTORA, J. C. K. WELLS, and R. C. LIMA. Physical Inactivity: Prevalence and Associated Variables in Brazilian Adults. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 35, No. 11, pp. 1894–1900, 2003.PurposeTo measure the prevalence of physical inactivity, and variables associated with it, in an adult southern Brazilian population.MethodsPopulation-based cross-sectional study covering a multiple-stage sample of 3182 subjects aged 20 yr or more. Physical activity was assessed through the short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), using home interviews with last-week recall. The questionnaire covers leisure, occupation, transportation, and housework activities. Physical inactivity was defined as fewer than 150 min·wk−1 spent in moderate or vigorous physical activities. The time spent in vigorous activities was multiplied by two.ResultsThe prevalence of physical inactivity was 41.1%. After multivariate analyses, inactivity was positively associated with age and socioeconomic status, and inversely associated with self-reported health status. Those with white skin color and women who live alone rather than with a partner were more likely to have physical inactivity. Body mass index showed a significant U-shaped relationship with inactivity among men.ConclusionThe prevalence of physical inactivity in this Brazilian adult population is high, even though lower than reported in studies of leisure-time activity alone in other populations. Studies in developing countries may be seriously biased if activities during labor, transportation, and housework are not assessed.

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