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Effect of Physical Inactivity on Major Noncommunicable Diseases and Life Expectancy in Brazil

Leandro Fornias Machado de Rezende, Fabiana Maluf Rabacow, Juliana Yukari Kodaira Viscondi, Olinda do Carmo Luiz, Victor Keihan Rodrigues Matsudo, and I-Min Lee


In Brazil, one-fifth of the population reports not doing any physical activity. This study aimed to assess the impact of physical inactivity on major noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), all-cause mortality and life expectancy in Brazil, by region and sociodemographic profile.


We estimated the population attributable fraction (PAF) for physical inactivity associated with coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, colon cancer, and all-cause mortality. To calculate the PAF, we used the physical inactivity prevalence from the 2008 Brazilian Household Survey and relative risk data in the literature.


In Brazil, physical inactivity is attributable to 3% to 5% of all major NCDs and 5.31% of all-cause mortality, ranging from 5.82% in the southeastern region to 2.83% in the southern region. Eliminating physical inactivity would increase the life expectancy by an average of 0.31 years. This reduction would affect mainly individuals with ≥ 15 years of schooling, male, Asian, elderly, residing in an urban area and earning ≥ 2 times the national minimum wage.


In Brazil, physical inactivity has a major impact on NCDs and mortality, principally in the southeastern and central-west regions. Public policies and interventions promoting physical activity will significantly improve the health of the population.

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Assessment of Fatigue Thresholds in 50-m All-Out Swimming

Susana M. Soares, Ricardo J. Fernandes, J. Leandro Machado, José A. Maia, Daniel J. Daly, and João P. Vilas-Boas


It is essential to determine swimmers’ anaerobic potential and better plan training, understanding physiological effects of the fatigue.


To study changes in the characteristics of the intracyclic velocity variation during an all-out 50-m swim and to observe differences in speed and stroking parameters between these changes.


28 competitive swimmers performed a 50-m front-crawl all-out test while attached to a speedometer. The velocity–time (v[t]) curve off all stroke cycles was analyzed per individual using a routine that included a wavelet procedure, allowing the determination of the fatigue thresholds that divide effort in time intervals.


One or 2 fatigue thresholds were observed at individual level on the v(t) curve. In males, when 1 fatigue threshold was identified, the mean velocity and the stroke index dropped (P < .05) in the second time interval (1.7 ± 0.0 vs 1.6 ± 0.0 m/s and 3.0 ± 0.2 vs 2.8 ± 0.3 m/s, respectively). When 2 fatigue thresholds were identified, the mean velocity of the first time interval was higher than that of the third time interval (P < .05), for both male (1.7 ± 0.0 vs 1.6 ± 0.1 m/s) and female (1.5 ± 0.1 vs 1.3 ± 0.1 m/s) swimmers.


One or 2 fatigue thresholds were found in the intracyclic velocity-variation patterns. Concurrently, changes in velocity and stroke parameters were also observed between time intervals. This information could allow coaches to obtain new insights into delaying the degenerative effects of fatigue and maintain stable stroke-cycle characteristics over a 50-m event.

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Hydrodynamic Analysis of Different Finger Positions in Swimming: A Computational Fluid Dynamics Approach

J. Paulo Vilas-Boas, Rui J. Ramos, Ricardo J. Fernandes, António J. Silva, Abel I. Rouboa, Leandro Machado, Tiago M. Barbosa, and Daniel A. Marinho

The aim of this research was to numerically clarify the effect of finger spreading and thumb abduction on the hydrodynamic force generated by the hand and forearm during swimming. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis of a realistic hand and forearm model obtained using a computer tomography scanner was conducted. A mean flow speed of 2 m·s−1 was used to analyze the possible combinations of three finger positions (grouped, partially spread, totally spread), three thumb positions (adducted, partially abducted, totally abducted), three angles of attack (a = 0°, 45°, 90°), and four sweepback angles (y = 0°, 90°, 180°, 270°) to yield a total of 108 simulated situations. The values of the drag coefficient were observed to increase with the angle of attack for all sweepback angles and finger and thumb positions. For y = 0° and 180°, the model with the thumb adducted and with the little finger spread presented higher drag coefficient values for a = 45° and 90°. Lift coefficient values were observed to be very low at a = 0° and 90° for all of the sweepback angles and finger and thumb positions studied, although very similar values are obtained at a = 45°. For y = 0° and 180°, the effect of finger and thumb positions appears to be much most distinct, indicating that having the thumb slightly abducted and the fingers grouped is a preferable position at y = 180°, whereas at y = 0°, having the thumb adducted and fingers slightly spread yielded higher lift values. Results show that finger and thumb positioning in swimming is a determinant of the propulsive force produced during swimming; indeed, this force is dependent on the direction of the flow over the hand and forearm, which changes across the arm’s stroke.

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Hydrodynamic Drag during Gliding in Swimming

Daniel A. Marinho, Victor M. Reis, Francisco B. Alves, João P. Vilas-Boas, Leandro Machado, António J. Silva, and Abel I. Rouboa

This study used a computational fluid dynamics methodology to analyze the effect of body position on the drag coefficient during submerged gliding in swimming. The k-epsilon turbulent model implemented in the commercial code Fluent and applied to the flow around a three-dimensional model of a male adult swimmer was used. Two common gliding positions were investigated: a ventral position with the arms extended at the front, and a ventral position with the arms placed along side the trunk. The simulations were applied to flow velocities of between 1.6 and 2.0 m·s−1, which are typical of elite swimmers when gliding underwater at the start and in the turns. The gliding position with the arms extended at the front produced lower drag coefficients than with the arms placed along the trunk. We therefore recommend that swimmers adopt the arms in front position rather than the arms beside the trunk position during the underwater gliding.

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Determination of the Drag Coefficient during the First and Second Gliding Positions of the Breaststroke Underwater Stroke

J. Paulo Vilas-Boas, Lígia Costa, Ricardo J. Fernandes, João Ribeiro, Pedro Figueiredo, Daniel Marinho, António J. Silva, Abel Rouboa, and Leandro Machado

The purpose of the current study was to assess and to compare the hydrodynamics of the first and second gliding positions of the breaststroke underwater stroke used after starts and turns, considering drag force (D), drag coefficient (CD ) and cross-sectional area (S). Twelve national-level swimmers were tested (6 males and 6 females, respectively 18.2 ± 4.0 and 17.3 ± 3.0 years old). Hydrodynamic parameters were assessed through inverse dynamics from the velocity to time curve characteristic of the underwater armstroke of the breaststroke technique. The results allow us to conclude that, for the same gliding velocities (1.37 ± 0.124 m/s), D and the swimmers’ S and CD values obtained for the first gliding position are significantly lower than the corresponding values obtained for the second gliding position of the breaststroke underwater stroke (31.67 ± 6.44 N vs. 46.25 ± 7.22 N; 740.42 ± 101.89 cm2 vs. 784.25 ± 99.62 cm2 and 0.458 ± 0.076 vs. 0.664 ± 0.234, respectively). These differences observed for the total sample were not evident for each one of the gender’s subgroups.

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Three-Dimensional CFD Analysis of the Hand and Forearm in Swimming

Daniel A. Marinho, António J. Silva, Victor M. Reis, Tiago M. Barbosa, João P. Vilas-Boas, Francisco B. Alves, Leandro Machado, and Abel I. Rouboa

The purpose of this study was to analyze the hydrodynamic characteristics of a realistic model of an elite swimmer hand/forearm using three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics techniques. A three-dimensional domain was designed to simulate the fluid flow around a swimmer hand and forearm model in different orientations (0°, 45°, and 90° for the three axes Ox, Oy and Oz). The hand/forearm model was obtained through computerized tomography scans. Steady-state analyses were performed using the commercial code Fluent. The drag coefficient presented higher values than the lift coefficient for all model orientations. The drag coefficient of the hand/forearm model increased with the angle of attack, with the maximum value of the force coefficient corresponding to an angle of attack of 90°. The drag coefficient obtained the highest value at an orientation of the hand plane in which the model was directly perpendicular to the direction of the flow. An important contribution of the lift coefficient was observed at an angle of attack of 45°, which could have an important role in the overall propulsive force production of the hand and forearm in swimming phases, when the angle of attack is near 45°.

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Swimming Propulsion Forces Are Enhanced by a Small Finger Spread

Daniel A. Marinho, Tiago M. Barbosa, Victor M. Reis, Per L. Kjendlie, Francisco B. Alves, João P. Vilas-Boas, Leandro Machado, António J. Silva, and Abel I. Rouboa

The main aim of this study was to investigate the effect of finger spread on the propulsive force production in swimming using computational fluid dynamics. Computer tomography scans of an Olympic swimmer hand were conducted. This procedure involved three models of the hand with differing finger spreads: fingers closed together (no spread), fingers with a small (0.32 cm) spread, and fingers with large (0.64 cm) spread. Steady-state computational fluid dynamics analyses were performed using the Fluent code. The measured forces on the hand models were decomposed into drag and lift coefficients. For hand models, angles of attack of 0°, 15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 75°, and 90°, with a sweep back angle of 0°, were used for the calculations. The results showed that the model with a small spread between fingers presented higher values of drag coefficient than did the models with fingers closed and fingers with a large spread. One can note that the drag coefficient presented the highest values for an attack angle of 90° in the three hand models. The lift coefficient resembled a sinusoidal curve across the attack angle. The values for the lift coefficient presented few differences among the three models, for a given attack angle. These results suggested that fingers slightly spread could allow the hand to create more propulsive force during swimming.