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Pedro Curi Hallal and Fernando Vinholes Siqueira

Background:

Physical inactivity is now a public health priority because of the high rates of inactivity observed worldwide. Achievement of physical activity guidelines could be attained with vigorous, moderate, or both activities combined. Our aim was to explore the prevalence and correlates of compliance with vigorous physical activity guidelines (CVAG).

Methods:

Cross-sectional population-based survey in Pelotas, a southern Brazilian city, including 3182 adults (≥ 20 years). The short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire was applied by face-to-face interviews. CVAG was defined as at least 60 min/wk of vigorous activity.

Results:

Only 29% of the subjects achieved the vigorous activity threshold. Women, older adults, individuals with low BMI (< 18.5 kg/m2) or obese (≥ 30 kg/m2) were less likely to present CVAG. Compliance with moderate activity guidelines was associated with a higher likelihood of CVAG.

Conclusions:

Concurrent promotion of moderate and vigorous physical activities is warranted in terms of public health.

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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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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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Juliano Peixoto Bastos, Cora Luiza Pavin Araújo and Pedro Curi Hallal

Background:

We aimed to describe levels of physical activity (PA) in adolescents living in southern Brazil and to explore associations between PA levels and demographic, socioeconomic, health-related, and parental variables. A further aim was to test the validity and reliability of the questionnaire used.

Methods:

We conducted a population-based, cross-sectional study including 857 adolescents selected randomly. Insufficient PA was defined as <300 min/wk of MVPA. PA data collected by questionnaire were compared with pedometer counts and with a longer version of the questionnaire in a subsample of 92 adolescents.

Results:

Reliability of the questionnaire was good, and its validity in comparison with a longer questionnaire was also satisfactory. In comparison with pedometer data, the questionnaire presented moderate agreement. The prevalence of insufficient PA in the whole sample was 69.8% (95% CI = 66.7–72.9). Boys were more active than girls. The prevalence of insufficient PA increased with age in girls but not in boys. Among boys, those from low socioeconomic levels were more likely to be sedentary. Among girls, paternal PA was directly associated with adolescent activity levels.

Conclusions:

Urgent strategies aimed at increasing levels of activity of adolescents are necessary in Brazil given the high prevalence of insufficient PA detected in this study. The variables associated with insufficient PA varied between boys and girls.

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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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Renata Moraes Bielemann, Virgílio Viana Ramires, Denise Petrucci Gigante, Pedro Curi Hallal and Bernardo Lessa Horta

Background:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between physical activity and triglyceride and HDLc levels in young male adults.

Methods:

We used information about males belonging 1982 Pelotas Birth Cohort. Physical activity in 4 domains (leisure time, transportation, household, and occupation) was assessed by self-report in participants of the cohort at ages of 18 and 23 years. Subjects were active if reached the recommendation of 150 min/week of moderate to vigorous physical activity. At 23 years of age, blood sample was collected, and triglycerides and HDLc levels estimated. Multivariate linear and Poisson regression were used to adjust the estimates for confounders.

Results:

Males who were inactive at 18 and active at 23 years had 41% lower risk (β = 0.59; 95% confidence interval: 0.40; 0.89) for borderline-high triglycerides (≥ 150 mg/dL) as compared with those who were inactive at both follow-ups. No association was found between changes of physical activity and HDLc level. In cross-sectional analyses, greater HDLc levels were found in active subjects in 4 domains, whereas there was no difference in HDL levels according physical activity during leisure time.

Conclusion:

Becoming active from adolescence to early adulthood reduced the risk for high triglycerides. Current physical activity was associated with greater HDLc levels.

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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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Pedro Curi Hallal, Cesar Gomes Victora, Jonathan Charles Kingdon Wells, Rosângela Costa Lima and Neiva Jorge Valle

Background:

Our study aims to compare the short and full-length International Physical Activity Questionnaires (IPAQ).

Methods:

Both versions were completed by 186 subjects >14 y living in southern Brazil. Half answered the short and then the long version; the remaining subjects followed the reverse order. Physical inactivity (PI) was defined as <150 min/wk spent in moderate or vigorous activities. The Bland and Altman method and the kappa statistic were used to assess agreement between the continuous and categorical outcomes, respectively.

Results:

The prevalence of PI was 50% higher with the short IPAQ (42% vs. 28%). The kappa value was 53.7%. Although the correlation coefficient was moderately high (r=0.61), agreement between methods was low.

Conclusions:

Both analyses used show that the short and full-length IPAQ versions have poor agreement. Utilization of inappropriate statistics would lead to misinterpretation. Researchers should exercise care before comparing studies using different IPAQ versions.