Physical Activity Level and Lifestyle-Related Risk Factors From Catalan Physicians

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health

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Alba Pardo
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Jim McKenna
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Anna Mitjans
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Berenguer Camps
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Silvia Aranda-Garcia
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Juanjo Garcia-Gil
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Mariona Violan
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Background:

Physicians’ own Physical Activity (PA) and other health-related habits influence PA promotion. The current study identifies the PA level, according to the current PA recommendations and other health-related habits of physicians from the Catalan Medical Council.

Methods:

2400 physicians (30–55 years) were randomly selected; each received a self-administered mailed questionnaire identifying medical specialization, work setting, health self-perception, body mass index (BMI), PA, and smoking habits.

Results:

762 physicians responded (52% female). Almost 1 in 2 (49.3%) exercised sufficiently, nearly all selfperceived good health, while 80.5% were nonsmokers. Almost 6 in 10 males reported overweight or obesity (56.9%) versus 18.2% of females. Active physicians dominated specific groups: (1) aged 45–55 years, (2) specializing either in primary care or surgery, (3) working in the private sector, (4) BMI < 25kg/m2, (5) perceiving themselves in good health, or (6) having free leisure time.

Conclusions:

Only half of Catalan physicians met current PA recommendations; male physicians were particularly at risk for overweight/obesity. Overweight and under-exercise were associated with private workplaces and positive health perceptions, meaning that it is it is now possible to target inactive and/or overweight Catalan physicians in future interventions.

Pardo and Violan are with the PAFES Group, Catalan Sports Council, Barcelona, Spain. McKenna is with the Dept of Physical Activity and Health, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, United Kingdom. Mitjans is with the PAIMM Programme, Galatea Foundation, Barcelona, Spain. Camps is with the Young Doctor’s Office, Medical Council of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. Aranda-García is with the Dept of Health and Applied Sciences, School of Health and Sport Science, Girona, Spain. Garcia-Gil is with the Dept of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, School in Health Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University, Mataró, Barcelona, Spain.

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