Physical activity counseling is an attribution of health professionals. As such, this paper aims to analyze the receipt of this form of counseling.
Cross-sectional national study interviewing 12,402 adults living in the urban area of 100 Brazilian municipalities.
Overall counseling prevalence was 30%, falling to 20% when considering only counseling provided by health professionals. Counseling was significantly more frequent among women and among individuals who were older, married, had higher socioeconomic status, were former smokers, physically active, and reporting hypertension, diabetes, and excess weight.
Little counseling was found to be done, this being a missed opportunity for health promotion. Health services and professionals therefore need to be trained and encouraged to provide adequate information to all health service users on the benefits of leading healthy lifestyles.