Leisure-Time Physical Activity in a Southern Brazilian City (2004–2021): Applying an Equity Lens to Time-Trend Analyses

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Andrea Wendt Programa de Pós-Graduação em Tecnologia em Saúde, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Curitiba, PR, Brazil

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Alan G. Knuth Post-Graduate program in Public Health, Federal University of Rio Grande, Rio Grande, RS, Brazil

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2030-5747
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Bruno P. Nunes Post-Graduate program in Nursing, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil
Post-Graduate program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil

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Mario Renato de Azevedo Jr Post-Graduate program in Physical Education, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil

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Helen Gonçalves Post-Graduate program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil

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Pedro C. Hallal Post-Graduate program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil
Post-Graduate program in Physical Education, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil
College of Applied Health Sciences, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, USA

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Inácio Crochemore-Silva Post-Graduate program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil
Post-Graduate program in Physical Education, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil

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Background: This study aimed to verify leisure-time physical activity trends over 15 years and monitor inequalities according to gender, self-reported skin color, and socioeconomic position in a Southern Brazilian city. A secondary aim is to evaluate intersectionalities in physical activity. Methods: Trend analysis using 3 population-based surveys carried out in 2004, 2010, and 2021. Main outcome assessed was the prevalence of physical activity according to recommendations (150 min/wk). Inequalities dimensions measured were sex, self-reported skin color, and wealth. Intersectionalities were evaluated using Jeopardy index combining all inequality dimensions. Trend analysis was performed using least-squares weighted regression. Results: We included data from 3090, 2656, and 5696 adults in 2004, 2010, and 2021, respectively. Prevalence of physical activity remains stable around 25% in the 3 years. In the 3 periods evaluated, men presented a prevalence in average 10 percentage points higher than women (SII2004 = −11.1 [95% confidence interval, CI, −14.4 to −7.8], SII2021 = −10.7 [95% CI, −13.7 to −7.7]). Skin color inequalities did not present a clear pattern. Richest individuals, in general presented a prevalence of leisure-time physical activity level 20pp higher than poorest ones (SII2004 = 20.5 [95% CI, 13.7 to 27.4]; SII2021 = 16.7 [95% CI, 11.3 to 22.0]). Inequalities were widely marked, comparing the most privileged group (represented by men, the wealthiest, and White) and the most socially vulnerable group (represented by women, the poorest, and Black/Brown). The Slope Index of Inequality for intersectionalities was −24.5 (95% CI, −31.1 to −17.9) in 2004 and −18.8 in 2021 (95% CI, −24.2 to −13.4). Conclusions: Our analysis shows that women, Black/Brown, and poor present lower leisure-time physical activity level. This group is often neglected regarding other health and social outcomes.

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