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Physical inactivity is a significant public health problem in Brazil that may be addressed by partnerships and networks. In conjunction with Project GUIA (Guide for Useful Interventions for Physical Activity in Brazil and Latin America), the aim of this study was to conduct a social network analysis of physical activity in Brazil.


An online survey was completed by 28 of 35 organizations contacted from December 2008 through March 2009. Network analytic methods examined measures of collaboration, importance, leadership, and attributes of the respondent and organization.


Leadership nominations for organizations studied ranged from 0 to 23. Positive predictors of collaboration included: south region, GUIA membership, years working in physical activity, and research, education, and promotion/practice areas of physical activity. The most frequently reported barrier to collaboration was bureaucracy.


Social network analysis identified factors that are likely to improve collaboration among organizations in Brazil.

Brownson, Parra, and Dauti are with the Prevention Research Center in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis. Brownson and Hoehner are with the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis. Harris is with the School of Public Health, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO. Hallal is with the Post-graduate Program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil. Malta is with the Division of Situation Analysis and Prevention of Non-transmissible Diseases, Brazil Ministry of Health, Brasilia, Brazil. Reis is with the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brazil, and the Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil. Ramos is with the Dept of Preventive Medicine, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. Ribeiro is with the Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Soares and Pratt are with the Physical Activity and Health Branch, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.