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Kristen Day

Noncommunicable (or chronic) diseases—cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes—are often considered the problems of wealthy, developed countries. Yet, the rates of noncommunicable diseases in developing countries are increasing dramatically. In total, 80% of deaths from noncommunicable diseases

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R. Chappell

Although there have been some scholarly investigations of sport in developing countries there has been very little research conducted on the problems of sports’ participation for girls and women. This paper consists of: 1) previous literature concerning the problems associated with defining and categorizing developing countries, and with the analyses of sports participation for girls and women. 2) a discussion of the problems encountered by women when attempting to participate in sport. 3) this section consists of a discussion of the information concerning assistance that is being given to developing countries in the field of sport, sports science and physical education. It is suggested that if advances are to be made in relation to womenís participation in sport, especially at international level, a major organization such as the International Olympic Committee needs to coordinate the efforts. It is additionally suggested that within each country there is a need for a specific organization whose task it would be to act as a voice to promote sport for girls and women.

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Oanh T.H. Trinh, Nguyen Do Nguyen, Hidde P. van der Ploeg, Michael J. Dibley and Adrian Bauman

Background:

The increasing prevalence of chronic lifestyle diseases in developing countries warrants reliable and valid surveillance of physical activity levels in the population. This study assesses the test-retest repeatability and criterion validity of the WHO-recommended Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ) in Vietnamese adults during the dry and wet seasons.

Methods:

In 2007 a representative sample of 169 adults (25-64 years) was recruited to determine the GPAQ reliability and validity. GPAQ assesses time and intensity of physical activities spent during a usual week. To assess short and long term reliability, participants completed the GPAQ twice during the dry season 2 weeks apart and again 2 months later during the wet season. For validation purposes, participants wore an accelerometer during the 7 days before the first and last GPAQ assessments.

Results:

The total GPAQ score showed repeatability correlations of 0.69 after 2 weeks and of 0.55 after 2 months. Total GPAQ score and accelerometer data showed validity correlations of 0.34 and 0.20 in the dry and wet season, respectively. There was a difference in physical activity patterns between the dry and wet seasons.

Conclusions:

GPAQ is suitable for surveillance of physical activity among adults in Vietnam.

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Luis F. Gómez, Olga L. Sarmiento, Diego I. Lucumí, Gladys Espinosa, Roberto Forero and Adrian Bauman

Background:

Utilitarian physical activity confers health benefits, but little is known about experiences in developing countries. The objective was to examine the prevalence and factors associated with walking and bicycling for transport in adults from Bogotá.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study including 1464 adults age 18 to 29 y during the year 2002.

Results:

16.7% reported bicycling for at least 10 min during the last week and 71.7% reported walking for at least 90 min during the last week. Bicycling was more likely among adults living in Tunjuelito (flat terrain), who use the “ciclovía” (car-roads for recreational bicycling on holidays/Sundays) or reporting physical activity during leisure-time and less likely among women, or adults with college education. Walking was more likely among adults reporting physical activity during leisure time and less likely among housewives/househusbands or those living in Tunjuelito.

Conclusion:

Programs that promote walking or bicycling in Bogotá should consider differences in individual and environmental factors.

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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.

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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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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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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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Braulio C. Mendonça, Antônio C. Oliveira, José Jean O. Toscano, Alan G. Knuth, Thiago T. Borges, Deborah C. Malta, Danielle K. Cruz and Pedro C. Hallal

Background:

Evaluation studies of large scale physical activity promotion programs are rare in Latin America. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the association between various forms of exposure to Academia da Cidade (PAC), a professionally supervised intervention in Aracaju (Brazil), and leisure-time physical activity (LTPA).

Methods:

A population-based study including 2267 adults was carried out. LTPA was assessed using the long version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, and a cut-off of 150 minutes per week was used in the analyses.

Results:

In fully adjusted models, having ever heard about PAC was related to an odds of 1.8 (95% CI 1.4−2.2) for reaching the 150-minutes per week LTPA threshold. Equivalent odds ratios were 1.6 (95% CI 1.1−2.3) for having ever seen a PAC class, 14.3 (95% CI 12.3−16.4) for current and 4.0 (95% CI 1.4−11.3) for past PAC participation.

Conclusion:

Different sources of exposure to PAC were significantly associated with LTPA, which may suggest that professionally-supervised community classes offered for free may be a successful alternative for promoting physical activity in Brazil. If PAC happens to be expanded to other Brazilian areas, intervention studies may be carried out to evaluate its effectiveness.

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Peter T. Katzmarzyk and Caitlin Mason

Physical activity is important for the prevention of chronic disease morbidity and mortality, and the lack of adequate levels of physical activity represents a growing public health burden around the world. The purpose of this report is to introduce the concept of the “Physical Activity Transition” and to explore the potential effects that declining physical activity levels may play on health and life expectancy as countries undergo economic and demographic changes. Physical activity is related to mortality rates in humans, and the available evidence suggests that the adoption of a lifestyle characterized by lower levels of physical activity will attenuate the expected gains in life expectancy associated with the epidemiological transition. Advances in the measurement of physical activity at work, in the home, for transport, and in leisure time in a wide variety of populations will be integral to advancing the current understanding of how macro-level factors shape physical activity patterns and patterns of morbidity and mortality.