To evaluate the prevalence of physical activity advice, the source of the information, and the types of recommendation in a population-based sample of adults living in South Brazil.
Population-based study including 972 adults living in Pelotas, Brazil. The outcome variable was based on the following question: “Has anyone ever recommended you to practice physical activity”? If the answer was positive, we asked who was responsible for the prescription (an open question, which was categorized later) and which recommendation was done.
The prevalence of physical activity advice was 56.2% (95% CI 52.3−60.1). Physical activity advice was mostly done by physicians (92.5%). Walking was, by far, the most frequent recommendation. Females were more likely to receive advice for physical activity practice than males (OR 1.74; 95% CI 1.30−2.31). Age, economic level, body mass index and leisure-time physical activity were positively associated with physical activity advice, while self-reported health presented an inverse association with the outcome.
The prevalence of physical activity advice was high in this sample, suggesting that the Brazilian health system is incorporating physical activity in its routine.