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Alan G. Knuth and Pedro C. Hallal

Background:

In spite of all accumulated scientific knowledge on the benefits of physical activity (PA) for health, high rates of sedentary lifestyle are still observed worldwide. The aim of this study was to systematically review articles on temporal trends of PA and fitness, with emphasis on differences between children/adolescents and adults.

Methods:

An electronic search at the Medline/PubMed database was carried out using the following combination of keywords: temporal trends or trends or surveillance or monitoring and PA or exercise or physical fitness or motor activity or sedentary or fitness.

Results:

By using this strategy, 23,088 manuscripts were detected. After examination, 41 articles fulfilled all inclusion criteria, and were, therefore, included. The data currently available in the literature for adults shows that leisure-time activity levels tend to be increasing over time, while occupational-related PA is decreasing over time. Youth PA seems to be decreasing over time, including a lower level of activity in physical education classes. As a consequence, fitness levels are also declining.

Conclusion:

PA surveillance must be strongly encouraged in all settings and age groups. Special attention must be paid to low and middle-income countries, where PA surveillance is virtually inexistent.

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Pedro C. Hallal, Kelly Cordeira, Alan G. Knuth, Grégore Iven Mielke and Cesar G. Victora

Background:

One-third of adults worldwide are physically inactive causing over 5.3 million deaths annually. Despite a growing focus on physical activity and health, population-based data on physical activity trends in low- and middle-income countries are still limited. To help fill the gap, this study provides trend data over a 10-year period in Pelotas, a southern Brazilian city.

Methods:

The short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to assess the prevalence of physical inactivity in 2002 (n = 3119), 2007 (n = 2969), and 2012 (n = 2868). Levels of inactivity and trends were assessed according to sex, age, schooling, and socioeconomic position (SEP).

Results:

The prevalence of physical inactivity rose from 41.1% (95% CI: 37.4–44.9) in 2002 and 52.0% (95% CI: 49.1–53.8) in 2007 to 54.4% (95% CI: 51.8–56.9) in 2012 (P < .001). Physical inactivity significantly increased in all subgroups except in the highest SEP and 70+ year age subgroups.

Conclusions:

After a sharp increase in the prevalence of physical inactivity from 2002–2007, levels plateaued from 2007–2012. However, it is important to stress that current levels are still unacceptably high, and that efforts must be intensified to reverse the trend.

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Pedro C. Hallal, Pitágoras T. Machado, Giovâni F. Del Duca, Inácio C. Silva, Tales C. Amorim, Thiago T. Borges, Airton J. Rombaldi, Mario R. Azevedo and Alan G. Knuth

Purpose:

To evaluate the prevalence of physical activity advice, the source of the information, and the types of recommendation in a population-based sample of adults living in South Brazil.

Methods:

Population-based study including 972 adults living in Pelotas, Brazil. The outcome variable was based on the following question: “Has anyone ever recommended you to practice physical activity”? If the answer was positive, we asked who was responsible for the prescription (an open question, which was categorized later) and which recommendation was done.

Results:

The prevalence of physical activity advice was 56.2% (95% CI 52.3−60.1). Physical activity advice was mostly done by physicians (92.5%). Walking was, by far, the most frequent recommendation. Females were more likely to receive advice for physical activity practice than males (OR 1.74; 95% CI 1.30−2.31). Age, economic level, body mass index and leisure-time physical activity were positively associated with physical activity advice, while self-reported health presented an inverse association with the outcome.

Conclusions:

The prevalence of physical activity advice was high in this sample, suggesting that the Brazilian health system is incorporating physical activity in its routine.

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Braulio C. Mendonça, Antônio C. Oliveira, José Jean O. Toscano, Alan G. Knuth, Thiago T. Borges, Deborah C. Malta, Danielle K. Cruz and Pedro C. Hallal

Background:

Evaluation studies of large scale physical activity promotion programs are rare in Latin America. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the association between various forms of exposure to Academia da Cidade (PAC), a professionally supervised intervention in Aracaju (Brazil), and leisure-time physical activity (LTPA).

Methods:

A population-based study including 2267 adults was carried out. LTPA was assessed using the long version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, and a cut-off of 150 minutes per week was used in the analyses.

Results:

In fully adjusted models, having ever heard about PAC was related to an odds of 1.8 (95% CI 1.4−2.2) for reaching the 150-minutes per week LTPA threshold. Equivalent odds ratios were 1.6 (95% CI 1.1−2.3) for having ever seen a PAC class, 14.3 (95% CI 12.3−16.4) for current and 4.0 (95% CI 1.4−11.3) for past PAC participation.

Conclusion:

Different sources of exposure to PAC were significantly associated with LTPA, which may suggest that professionally-supervised community classes offered for free may be a successful alternative for promoting physical activity in Brazil. If PAC happens to be expanded to other Brazilian areas, intervention studies may be carried out to evaluate its effectiveness.

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Alan G. Knuth, Deborah C. Malta, Danielle K. Cruz, Adriana M. Castro, Janaína Fagundes, Luciana M. Sardinha, Cristiane Scolari Gosch, Eduardo J. Simões and Pedro C. Hallal

Background:

Based on the Brazilian National Health Promotion Policy (PNPS), the Ministry of Health (MoH) started stimulating and funding physical activity interventions in 2005, leading to the establishment of a countrywide network. The aim of the present article is to geographically describe this network (2005−2008) and to present structure and process evaluation indicators of interventions funded in 2006 and 2007.

Methods:

In 2005, the 27 state capitals received funding for carrying out physical activity-related interventions. From 2006 onwards, public calls for proposals were announced, and cities were selected through a competitive basis. Coordinators of interventions in cities who got funding in 2006 and 2007 answered to survey questions on structure and process aspects of the interventions.

Results:

The network currently comprises 469 projects, out of which over 60% are carried out in small cities (<30,000 inhabitants). The most frequently used public spaces for the interventions are squares and indoor sports courts. The main physical activity-related topic of the PNPS prioritized in the projects is healthy diet. The main partnerships developed are between City's Health and Education Secretariats.

Conclusion:

Expanding the network to 1000 cities by 2010 and continuing the evaluation efforts are the next goals of the Brazilian MoH.