Prevalence and Preferences of Self-Reported Physical Activity and Nonsedentary Behaviors in Portuguese Adults

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: This study describes levels of self-reported physical activity, frequency of selected opportunistic nonsedentary behaviors, and preferences of leisure-time activities in a representative sample of Portuguese adults, using data from a national survey on diet and activity behaviors (National Food, Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, IAN-AF, 2015–2016). Methods: Participants were 3873 Portuguese adults (1827 men). They were interviewed face to face, and the short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used. Regular leisure-time programmed activities, and 6 additional items, forming the activity choice index questionnaire, were used to assess 6 discrete nonsedentary behaviors. Results: Using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire categories, 42.3% of the sample were classified as low active, 30.6% as moderately active, and 27.1% as highly active. Walking, health/fitness activities, running, group gymnastics classes, swimming/pool activities, football/futsal, and cycling were the most popular leisure-time activities. Between 15% (parking further away from destinations) and 48% (using the stairs instead of elevators) of participants reported that they frequently adopted commonly recommended nonsedentary activities. Conclusions: This study updates self-reported physical activity prevalence for Portugal adults, including older adults. In addition, it uniquely describes leisure-time activity preferences in the population and also the relative frequency of several nonsedentary activities of daily living.

Teixeira, Marques, and Sardinha are with the Centro Interdisciplinar de Estudo da Performance Humana (CIPER), Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal. Marques is also with the Centro de Investigação em Saúde Pública, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal. Lopes is with the Departamento de Ciências da Saúde Pública e Forenses, e Educação Médica, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal; and the EPIUnit, Institute of Public Health, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal. Mota is with the Centro de Investigação em Actividade Física Saúde e Lazer (CIAFEL), Faculdade de Desporto, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal.

Teixeira (pteixeira@fmh.ulisboa.pt) is corresponding author.
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