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Pedro C. Hallal

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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, Sandra Matsudo, and José C. Farias Jr.

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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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Pedro C. Hallal, Rodrigo S. Reis, Diana C. Parra, Christine Hoehner, Ross C. Brownson, and Eduardo J. Simões

Background:

To evaluate the association between perceived environmental factors and leisure-time and transport-related physical activity.

Methods:

A random-digit-dialing telephone cross-sectional survey in Recife, Brazil, was conducted among individuals aged 16 years or older (n = 2046). Leisure-time and transport-related physical activity were measured using the long version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Three outcome variables were used: leisure-time physical activity (min/wk), transport-related physical activity (min/wk), and walking for leisure (min/wk). A cutoff of 150 min/wk was used for all outcome variables. The environmental module of the questionnaire was based on the short version of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (A-NEWS), and included 12 environmental items.

Results:

The proportions of subjects reaching the 150-minutes per week threshold were 30.6% for leisure-time physical activity, 26.6% for transport-related physical activity and 18.2% for walking for leisure. Lack of sidewalks and low access to recreational facilities were associated with a lower likelihood of performing 150 minutes per week or more of leisure-time physical activity. Lack of sidewalks was associated with low levels of walking for leisure. Neighborhood aesthetics was inversely associated with transport-related physical activity.

Conclusions:

Lack of sidewalks and low access to recreational facilities were predictors of low levels of leisure-time physical activity, suggesting that policy strategies aimed at improving these environmental features may be warranted.

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Maria Laura Resem Brizio, Pedro C. Hallal, I-Min Lee, and Marlos Rodrigues Domingues

Background:

The aim of this study was to investigate the association between lifetime physical activity and risk of lung cancer.

Methods:

A case-control study was conducted in southern Brazil. Case subjects were recruited from oncology services of 4 hospitals. Control subjects were selected from the same hospitals, but from different services (traumatology and emergency). Both case subjects (n = 81) and control subjects (n = 168) were interviewed using a questionnaire about sociodemographic characteristics, anthropometric information and family history of cancer. Control subjects were matched to case subjects according to sex and age (± 5 years). Detailed information on smoking was collected. Physical activity was measured using the Lifetime Physical Activity Questionnaire.

Results:

Of the case subjects, 89% were either current or former smokers; among control subjects, this value was 57%. Participants in the second, third, and fourth quartiles of all-domains physical activity had odds ratios of 0.54 (95% CI, 0.21–1.40), 0.25 (95% CI, 0.08–0.72), and 0.24 (95% CI, 0.07–0.83) for lung cancer, compared with the lowest quartile, after adjusting for confounding. In the fully adjusted models, leisure-time physical activity was not associated with lung cancer risk.

Conclusion:

Lifetime all-domains physical activity may reduce the risk of lung cancer.