Promoting Physical Activity Through Community-Wide Policies and Planning: Findings From Curitiba, Brazil

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Community programs have been suggested to be an important and promising strategy for physical activity (PA) promotion. Limited evidence is available regarding knowledge of and participation in these programs in Latin America.


To describe participation in and knowledge of community PA programs and to explore associations with leisure-time PA in the city of Curitiba, Brazil.


A cross sectional telephone survey was conducted among adults in Curitiba, Brazil (n = 2097). The International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to determine levels of PA, and specific questions were used to evaluate the extent to which respondents knew about or participated in the programs conducted by the municipality. Logistic regression was used to assess the meeting of PA recommendations in leisure time based on program knowledge and participation.


Knowledge of PA programs was high (91.6%) and 5.6% of population participated in the programs. After adjusting for individual characteristics, exposure to Curitiba's PA community programs was associated with leisure-time PA (POR = 2.9, 95% CI = 2.9−3.0) and walking for leisure (POR = 2.4; 95% CI = 2.3−2.4). The associations were stronger among men than among women.


Knowledge and participation in Curitiba's community PA programs were associated with meeting recommended levels of PA in leisure time.

Reis is with the Dept of Physical Education, Pontiff Catholic University of Parana, Curitiba, Brazil. Hallal is with the Postgraduate Program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil. Parra, Brownson, and Hoehner are with the Prevention Research Center in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis. Brownson is also with the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis. Ribeiro is with the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Pratt is with the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Ramos is with the Dept of Preventive Medicine, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.