Background: Community programs have been suggested to be an important and promising strategy for physical activity (PA) promotion. Limited evidence is available regarding knowledge of and participation in these programs in Latin America. Objective: To describe participation in and knowledge of community PA programs and to explore associations with leisure-time PA in the city of Curitiba, Brazil. Methods: A cross sectional telephone survey was conducted among adults in Curitiba, Brazil (n = 2097). The International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to determine levels of PA, and specific questions were used to evaluate the extent to which respondents knew about or participated in the programs conducted by the municipality. Logistic regression was used to assess the meeting of PA recommendations in leisure time based on program knowledge and participation. Results: Knowledge of PA programs was high (91.6%) and 5.6% of population participated in the programs. After adjusting for individual characteristics, exposure to Curitiba’s PA community programs was associated with leisure-time PA (POR = 2.9, 95% CI = 2.9–3.0) and walking for leisure (POR = 2.4; 95% CI = 2.3–2.4). The associations were stronger among men than among women. Conclusions: Knowledge and participation in Curitiba’s community PA programs were associated with meeting recommended levels of PA in leisure time.
Keywords: community research, Latin America, program evaluation, health promotion