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Elisa Marques, Joana Carvalho, Andreia Pizarro, Flávia Wanderlay and Jorge Mota

We examined the relationship among objective measures of body composition, lower extremity strength, physical activity, and walking performance and determined whether this interaction differed according to walking ability. Participants were 126 adults ages 60–91 yr. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that the 30-s chair stand test (30sCST), appendicular lean mass index (aLMI), body mass index, and age were independent contributors to walking performance, explaining 44.3% of the variance. For slower walkers, appendicular fat mass index (aFMI), moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), 30sCST, and aLMI (r 2 = .49, p < .001) largely explained variance in walking performance. For faster walkers, aFMI and aLMI explained 31.4% (p < .001) of the variance. These data suggest that both fat and lean mass are associated with walking performance in higher- and lower-functioning older adults, whereas MPVA and muscle strength influence walking ability only among lower-functioning older adults.

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Jorge Mota, José Carlos Ribeiro, Joana Carvalho and Maria Paula Santos


The aim of this study is to investigate the associations between active transport (AT), nonorganized out of school physical activity (NOPA) and organized out of school PA (OPA) with BMI in Portuguese adolescents.


The sample comprised 1121 adolescents age 13 to 17 years-old, which were assigned to 1 of 4 PA groups according to the sum of participation in different physical activity behaviors outside of school [AT, OPA, and NOPA].


In boys but not in girls, BMI was lower as the participation in more PA behaviors outside school increased. For those who only carry out 1 PA behavior, AT was the most common behavior (boys = 48.9%; girls = 55.1%). On the other hand, NOPA was the most common behavior for those engaged in 2 types of PA (girls = 51.6%; boys = 46%). For those that carried out all the PA behaviors outside school OPA was the most common choice in both girls (59.5%) and boys (54%). AT, NOPA and OPA are different sources of PA outside school that accrued in different ways to the increased level of PA.


In boys but not in girls, BMI was lower as the participation in more PA behaviors outside school increased.

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Susana Carrapatoso, Greet Cardon, Delfien Van Dyck, Joana Carvalho and Freja Gheysen

This study examined the mediating effect of walking on the relationship of social support with vitality and psychological distress. Data from a sample of 2,859 older adults were used. The older adults completed the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey vitality scale, the Global Health Questionnaire, the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, and a social support attributes questionnaire. All social support variables were positively associated with vitality and negatively associated with psychological distress. Walking mediated the associations of appreciation for (3%) and frequency of (8%) social contacts, participation in group activities (19%), closeness from family and friends (8%), and concern from people around (6%) with vitality. Walking also mediated 33% of the association between participation in group activities and psychological distress. The main findings of this study suggest that participation in group activities, as part of social support, in later life is beneficial to improve older adults’ vitality and reduces psychological distress, with walking being a strong mediator of these relationships.

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Jorge Mota, José Carlos Ribeiro, Joana Carvalho, Maria Paula Santos and Júlio Martins

The aim of this study was twofold (1), to examine the prospective relationship of baseline TV viewing with BMI and CRF both at baseline and over a 2-year period, and (2) to examine the prospective relationship of baseline TV viewing and changes (Δ) on BMI and CRF over a 2-year period. Data were collected in a sample of 135 (64 girls) rural children ages 7 yr-old from elementary schools in Fundao, Portugal. Obesity status was obtained by the age-sex specific BMI cut points and CRF by a 9 min run test. TV viewing was also analyzed and children were assigned as one of two groups: the low TV watching (LTV), and high TV watching (HTV), users based upon them reported to spend less or more than 2 h/day watching TV, respectively. Logistic regression showed that those who were assigned to HTV group were 2.4 times (OR = 2.48; p = .04) more likely to be classified as unfit at time 1. Further the data showed that the LTV were more likely (OR = 0.36; p = .02) to be classified in high ΔCRF change over time. The findings of this study suggest that there was a significant inverse association between times spent watching TV and CRF but not BMI over a 2-yr period.