Intensity-Specific Leisure-Time Physical Activity and The Built Environment Among Brazilian Adults: A Best-Fit Model

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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There is little understanding about which sets of environmental features could simultaneously predict intensity-specific leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) among Brazilians. The objectives were to identify the environmental correlates for intensity-specific LTPA, and to build the best-fit linear models to predict intensity-specific LTPA among adults of Curitiba, Brazil.


Cross sectional study in Curitiba, Brazil (2009, n = 1461). The International Physical Activity Questionnaire and Abbreviated Neighborhood Environment Assessment Scale were used. Ninety-two perceived environment variables were categorized in 10 domains. LTPA was classified as walking for leisure (LWLK), moderate-intensity leisure-time PA (MLPA), vigorous-intensity leisure-time PA (VLPA), and moderate-to-vigorous intensity leisure-time PA (MVLPA). Best fitting linear predictive models were built.


Forty environmental variables were correlated to at least 1 LTPA outcome. The variability explained by the 4 best-fit models ranged from 17% (MLPA) to 46% (MVLPA). All models contained recreation areas and aesthetics variables; none included residential density predictors. At least 1 neighborhood satisfaction variable was present in each of the intensity-specific models, but not for overall MVLPA.


This study demonstrates the simultaneous effect of sets of perceived environmental features on intensity-specific LTPA among Brazilian adults. The differences found compared with high-income countries suggest caution in generalizing results across settings.

At the time of this study, Salvo ( was with the Nutrition and Health Sciences Program, Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Salvo is now with the Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health—Austin Regional Campus; and the Nutrition and Health Sciences Research Center, National Institute of Public Health of Mexico, Cuernavaca, Mexico. Reis and Hino are with the Research Group of Physical Activity and Quality of Life (GPAQ), School of Health and Biosciences, Pontificia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil; and the Dept of Physical Education, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil. Hallal is with the Center for Epidemiological Research, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil. Pratt is with the Nutrition and Health Sciences Program, Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; and the Schools of Medicine and Government, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia.