The aims of this study were to describe physical activity (PA) prevalence and compare it with other countries and to investigate possible associations between PA and other lifestyle behaviors in Azorean adults.
9991 adults (5723 women), aged 37.8 ± 9.5 years, of the 2004 Azorean Physical Activity and Health Study. IPAQ assessed PA. All other lifestyle behaviors (age, gender, education level, income, employment, marital status, number of children, meal frequency, sleep time, sitting time, body mass index and alcohol and tobacco consumptions) were also self-reported.
57.1% of the participants met current PA recommendations and 32.2% were categorized as Health Enhancing PA (HEPA). Women were less likely to achieve PA recommendations, as well as the HEPA level. In both genders, higher education level, employment status, higher income, and sitting for more than 3h/day were negative predictors of HEPA; and, having at least 5 meals/day was positive predictor for the same PA level.
There is a significant proportion of Azoreans, particularly women, that does not do enough PA. Targeted programs for Azoreans aimed to increase PA levels should pay special attention on women, and consider a multifactorial approach, once several lifestyle behaviors seem to interact with PA levels, in this population.
The authors are with the Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health, and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.