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  • Author: Pedro C. Hallal x
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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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Tales C. Amorim, Mario R. Azevedo and Pedro C. Hallal

Objective:

To evaluate the association between the physical and social environment and physical activity (leisure-time and transport-related) in a population-based sample of adults.

Methods:

Cross-sectional study including 972 adults (20−69 years) living in the urban area of Pelotas, Brazil. Physical activity was measured using the long International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Environmental variables were assessed using a modified version of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale.

Results:

69.8% (95% CI = 66.9−72.7) and 51.9% (95% CI = 48.8−55.1) of the subjects did not reach 150 min/wk on leisure-time and transport-related physical activity, respectively. Subjects living near green areas were more likely to be active in leisure-time, as well as those who reported to live in safe neighborhoods. Transport-related physical activity was higher among individuals living in areas with garbage accumulation, and was lower among those living in neighborhoods which are difficult to walk or cycle due to traffic. Social support was strongly associated with leisure-time physical activity.

Conclusions:

Safety investments, which are urgently required in Brazil, are likely to have a desirable side effect at increasing physical activity at the population level. Building enjoyable and safe public spaces for physical activity practice must be prioritized.

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Rogerio Fermino, Rodrigo Reis, Pedro C. Hallal and Andrew T. Kaczynski

Background:

The aim of this study was to analyze how sociodemographic characteristics, health, characteristics of quality of life, and perceptions of places are associated with park use in Curitiba, Brazil.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study with face-toface interviews was conducted with 1461 adults who lived within the area of 500 m near 8 parks. The survey included questions about gender, age, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, body mass index, perceived health, number of morbidities, perception of quality of life, physical environment, leisure opportunities, self-satisfaction, and satisfaction with the park. The use of a specific park near the residence was identified as 1 of 3 outcomes: park use versus nonuse, park use ≥ 1 time/wk, and park use ≥ 3 times/wk. Poisson regression was used to examine associations between the independent variables and each level of park use.

Results:

Overall park use (60.9%) and ≥ 1 time/wk (32.2%) and ≥ 3 times/wk use (16.8%) were associated with age and leisure opportunities. Leisure opportunities and park satisfaction were related to more frequent visits to these outdoor areas.

Conclusions:

These results can be used in guiding interventions that improve the quality of parks and other outdoor areas and offer leisure opportunities to the community.

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Pedro C. Hallal, Diana C. Parra, Mario R. Azevedo, Michael Pratt and Ross C. Brownson

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Christine Hoehner, Jesus Soares, Diana C. Parra, Isabela C. Ribeiro, Michael Pratt, Mario Bracco, Pedro C. Hallal and Ross C. Brownson

Background:

This review assessed whether conference abstracts yield useful information on the types and effectiveness of community-based physical activity (PA) interventions in Latin America, beyond that from interventions included in a recent systematic review of peer-reviewed literature.

Methods:

Abstracts from 9 conferences were searched for community-based interventions to promote PA in Latin America and summarized. Three reviewers classified and screened abstracts. Evaluated interventions that were not included in the previous review were assessed.

Results:

Search of abstracts from 31 proceedings of 9 conferences identified 87 abstracts of studies on community-based interventions focused on increasing PA. Only 31 abstracts reported on studies with a control group and an outcome related to PA. Ten of these abstracts represented interventions that had not been included in the previous review of peer-reviewed literature, but the abstracts were insufficient in number or detail to make a practice recommendation for any single intervention.

Conclusions:

This review highlighted the challenges and low added value of including conference abstracts in a systematic review of community PA interventions in Latin America. Stronger evaluation design and execution and more published reports of evaluated interventions are needed to build an evidence base supporting interventions to increase PA in Latin America.

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Gabriel Gustavo Bergmann, Mauren Lúcia de Araújo Bergmann and Pedro C. Hallal

Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine the independent and combined influence of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), body mass index (BMI) and percentage of fat (% fat) on total cholesterol (TC) and blood pressure (BP) in male and female youth.

Methods:

1442 (721 girls) children and adolescents aged 7–12 years were randomly selected. CRF, BMI, % fat (predictor variables), TC, systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP; outcome variables) were measured. Using standardized cut-off points, we created categories for each variable. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were used to test the independent influence of predictors on outcomes.

Results:

The prevalence of increased TC, SBP, and DBP were 34.4% (95% CI 31.9–37.0), 9.1% (95% CI 7.5–10.6), and 15.5% (95% CI 13.5–17.4), respectively. In multivariable analyses, CRF was a significant predictor of all outcome variables (P < .05). BMI was associated with SBP and DBP (P < .05) and % fat was associated only with SBP (P < .05). CRF had stronger associations with TC than BMI, whereas the opposite was observed for SBP and DBP.

Conclusions:

CRF and BMI are independently associated to TC and BP in male and female youth, and individuals unfit/overweight have greater likelihood of presenting these risk factors.

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Deborah Salvo, Rodrigo S. Reis, Adriano A.F. Hino, Pedro C. Hallal and Michael Pratt

Background:

There is little understanding about which sets of environmental features could simultaneously predict intensity-specific leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) among Brazilians. The objectives were to identify the environmental correlates for intensity-specific LTPA, and to build the best-fit linear models to predict intensity-specific LTPA among adults of Curitiba, Brazil.

Methods:

Cross sectional study in Curitiba, Brazil (2009, n = 1461). The International Physical Activity Questionnaire and Abbreviated Neighborhood Environment Assessment Scale were used. Ninety-two perceived environment variables were categorized in 10 domains. LTPA was classified as walking for leisure (LWLK), moderate-intensity leisure-time PA (MLPA), vigorous-intensity leisure-time PA (VLPA), and moderate-to-vigorous intensity leisure-time PA (MVLPA). Best fitting linear predictive models were built.

Results:

Forty environmental variables were correlated to at least 1 LTPA outcome. The variability explained by the 4 best-fit models ranged from 17% (MLPA) to 46% (MVLPA). All models contained recreation areas and aesthetics variables; none included residential density predictors. At least 1 neighborhood satisfaction variable was present in each of the intensity-specific models, but not for overall MVLPA.

Conclusions:

This study demonstrates the simultaneous effect of sets of perceived environmental features on intensity-specific LTPA among Brazilian adults. The differences found compared with high-income countries suggest caution in generalizing results across settings.

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Carolina Coll, Marlos Domingues, Iná Santos, Alicia Matijasevich, Bernardo Lessa Horta and Pedro C. Hallal

Background:

The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and its correlates from prepregnancy to the postpartum period in mothers enrolled in a Brazilian birth cohort study. Our hypothesis was that LTPA would decline considerably during pregnancy.

Methods:

Maternal LTPA in the 3 months before pregnancy and during each trimester of pregnancy was assessed soon after delivery. A follow-up visit was conducted 3 months later. Weekly frequency and duration of each session of LTPA in a typical week were assessed for each period and a cut-off point of 150 minutes per week was used to classify women as active or not.

Results:

The proportion of women active in leisure time declined from 11.3% in the prepregnancy to 2.3% in pregnancy and 0.1% in the postpartum period (P for trend <0.001). When considering any LTPA practice, the decline ranged from 15.4% to 4.4% and 7.5% (p for trend <0.001), respectively. Higher income, higher education and lower parity were the main predictors of LTPA practice.

Conclusions:

LTPA declined considerably during pregnancy and did not return to prepregnancy levels at 3 months postpartum. Mothers must be advised on the benefits of LTPA prepregnancy, during, and postpregnancy.

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Airton J. Rombaldi, Ana M.B. Menezes, Mario Renato Azevedo and Pedro C. Hallal

Objectives:

To explore whether participation in leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) is associated with participation in occupational, housework, and transport-related physical activity.

Methods:

Population-based cross-sectional study covering a multistage sample of 972 subjects age 20 to 69 years. Physical activity was measured using the long version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. A LTPA score was calculated as follows: min/wk of walking + min/wk of moderate-intensity physical activity + (min/wk of vigorous-intensity physical activity × 2). Similar scores were generated for each domain. For categorical analyses, the scores were divided into 3 categories: 0 min/wk, 10−149 min/wk, and ≥150 min/wk.

Results:

The proportion of subjects practicing less than 150 min/wk of physical activity in each domain was: leisure-time (69.8%), occupational (58.3%), housework (35.0%), transportation (51.9%). Subjects with a transport-related physical activity score equal to or above 150 min/wk were 40% less likely to be sedentary in leisure-time in comparison with those who did not practice transport-related physical activity. Housework and occupational physical activity were not related to participation in LTPA.

Conclusions:

Future physical activity campaigns should focus on other domains instead of LTPA alone, particularly supporting transport-related physical activity as a strategy of health promotion.