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  • Author: Luis Fernando Gomez x
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Janeth Mosquera, Diana C. Parra, Luis Fernando Gomez, Olga Sarmiento, Tom Schmid and Enrique Jacoby

Background:

The health benefits of physical activity are well documented in scientific literature. Bicycling for transportation is a modality of physical activity that people can incorporate easily into their daily lives.

Methods:

A qualitative study using 11 semi-structured individual interviews and 5 focus groups was conducted among 31 male and 13 female adult residents of Bogotá, Colombia in 2006, to explore barriers and facilitators of bicycle use for transportation purposes. People were selected based on socioeconomic status, age, and gender. Thematic analysis complemented with thematic network analysis was used to analyze the data.

Results:

Six main themes emerged from the study: 1) general acknowledgment of individual and collective benefits of bicycle use, 2) built environment conditions were linked with bicycle use, 3) some social factors affect bicycling negatively, 4) people perceived conflicts over public space related to the use of bike-paths, 5) general negative public perception of bicyclists, and 6) gender differences influence patterns of bicycle use.

Conclusion:

The findings from this qualitative study show that various social and physical barriers must be addressed to increase bicycle use as a means of transportation in Bogotá.

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Carlos Mario Arango, Diana C. Parra, Amy Eyler, Olga Sarmiento, Sonia C. Mantilla, Luis Fernando Gomez and Felipe Lobelo

Background:

Active school transport (AST) is a recommended strategy to promote physical activity (PA) and prevent overweight (OW) in school-aged children. In many developing countries, such as Colombia, this association has not been well characterized.

Objective:

To determine the association between AST and weight status in a representative sample of adolescents from Montería, Colombia.

Methods:

Participants were 546 adolescents (278 boys) aged 11 to 18 years old from 14 randomly selected schools in Montería, Colombia in 2008. The PA module of the Global School Health Survey (GSHS-2007) was used to determine the prevalence of AST. To identify OW, participants were classified according to CDC 2000 criteria (BMI ≥85th percentile). Association between AST and OW was determined by binomial logistic regression.

Results:

Odds ratios adjusted for age, sex, location of school, compliance with PA, and screen time recommendations showed that adolescents who reported AST had a significantly lower likelihood to be OW compared with adolescents who reported nonactive transportation (OR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.3−0.8, P < .05).

Conclusions:

These results support the importance of AST as a useful PA domain with potential implications for overweight prevention, in rapidly developing settings. Further epidemiologic and intervention studies addressing AST are needed in the region.

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Pedro C. Hallal, Luis Fernando Gomez, Diana C. Parra, Felipe Lobelo, Janeth Mosquera, Alex A. Florindo, Rodrigo S. Reis, Michael Pratt and Olga L. Sarmiento

Background:

To describe the lessons learned after 10 years of use of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) in Brazil and Colombia, with special emphasis on recommendations for future research in Latin America using this instrument.

Methods:

We present an analytical commentary, based on data from a review of the Latin American literature, as well as expert consultation and the authors' experience in administering IPAQ to over 43,000 individuals in Brazil and Colombia between 1998 and 2008.

Results:

Validation studies in Latin America suggest that the IPAQ has high reliability and moderate criteria validity in comparison with accelerometers. Cognitive interviews suggested that the occupational and housework sections of the long IPAQ lead to confusion among respondents, and there is evidence that these sections generate overestimated scores of physical activity. Because the short IPAQ considers the 4 physical activity domains altogether, people tend to provide inaccurate answers to it as well.

Conclusions:

Use of the leisure-time and transport sections of the long IPAQ is recommended for surveillance and studies aimed at documenting physical activity levels in Latin America. Use of the short IPAQ should be avoided, except for maintaining consistency in surveillance when it has already been used at baseline.

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Olga L. Sarmiento, Thomas L. Schmid, Diana C. Parra, Adriana Díaz-del-Castillo, Luis Fernando Gómez, Michael Pratt, Enrique Jacoby, José D. Pinzón and John Duperly

Background:

Studies assessing the association between health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) with physical activity (PA) and built environment (BE) characteristics are limited.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1,334 adults from Bogotá, to assess the associations between HR-QOL with PA and BE characteristics. HR-QOL was measured using the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention instruments. PA was measured using the International PA Questionnaire. BE characteristics included the dimensions of density, diversity, design, and access to mass-transit. Analysis included multilevel modeling.

Results:

Adults who reported meeting PA recommendations and participating in the Ciclovía were more likely to have a high mean score of HR-QOL and were more likely to perceive their health status as good/excellent. Adults who reported biking for transportation were more likely to have a high mean score of HR-QOL. Regarding BE characteristics, land-use heterogeneity was associated with HR-QOL, perceived good health status and being positive about the future. Park density was associated with HR-QOL, perceived health status good/excellent and being positive about the future. Mass-transit stations availability was negatively associated with HR-QOL.

Conclusion:

This study provides preliminary evidence that HR-QOL is associated with PA and BE characteristics among adults in an urban setting of the developing world.