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      Gender differences in leisure-time physical activity


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          To explore the association between gender and leisure-time physical activity in a population-based sample of adults living in Brazil. To study a variety of variables possibly associated with physical activity levels.


          A multistage sampling of households was undertaken in Pelotas, a medium-sized Southern Brazilian city. Leisure-time physical activity was measured using the long version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Data on potential predictors of leisure-time physical activity behavior were collected using a standardized questionnaire. 1 344 men and 1 756 women were interviewed. Several definitions of moderate and vigorous-intensity physical activity were used.


          Regardless of the guideline used, males were more active than women. Socioeconomic level was positively associated with leisure-time physical activity in both genders. A positive dose-response between age and inactivity was found in men, but not among women.


          Because men and women have different levels of physical activity, and the variables associated with activity levels are not consistent across the genders, interventions promoting physical activity should take these differences into account.


          Geschlechterbedingte Unterschiede bei körperlichen Aktivitäten in der Freizeit


          Die Beziehung zwischen Geschlecht und körperlichen Freizeitktivitäten in einer bevölkerungsbasierten Stichprobe von in Brasilien lebenden Erwachsenen zu untersuchen.


          Ein mehrstufiges Sampling von Haushalten wurde in Pelotas durchgeführt, einer mittelgrossen südbrasilianischen Stadt. Körperliche Freizeitaktivitäten wurden anhand der Langversion des Fragebogens zur Erhebung gesundheitsrelevanter körperlicher Aktivität (IPAC) gemessen. Daten zu potentiellen Prädiktoren des Verhaltens im Bereich der körperlichen Freizeitaktivitäten wurden mittels eines standardisierten Frage-bogens erhoben. Es wurden 1 344 Männer und 1 756 Frauen befragt. Verschiedene Definitionen körperlicher Aktivität von moderater bzw. starker Intensität kamen zur Anwendung.


          Unabhängig der verwendeten Richtlinien waren Männer aktiver als Frauen. Der sozioökonomische Status war negativ assoziiert mit körperlichen Freizeitaktivitäten bei beiden Geschlechtern. Eine positive Dosis-Wirkungs-Beziehung zwischen Alter und Inaktivität konnte bei Männern festgestellt werden, jedoch nicht bei Frauen.


          Da Männer und Frauen ein unterschiedliches Mass an körperlicher Aktivität aufweisen und die Variablen, die mit körperlicher Betätigung assoziiert sind, zwischen den Geschlechtern nicht einheitlich sind, sollten Interventionen zur Förderung körperlicher Aktivität diese Unterschiede berücksichtigen.


          Pratique de l’activité physique durant les loisirs

          différences entre les sexes


          Etudier l’association entre le genre et la pratique de l’activité physique durant les loisirs dans un échantillon populationnel d’adultes vivant au Brésil. Etudier différentes variables qui pourraient être associées avec les niveaux d’activité physique.


          Un échantillonnage en grappe des ménages a été effectué à Pelotas, un ville de taille moyenne au sud du Brésil. L’activité physique pratiquée durant les loisirs a été mesurée au moyen de la version longue du «Questionnaire International d’Activité Physique». Les variables prédictrices de la pratique de l’activité physique durant les loisirs ont été collectées au moyen d’un questionnaire standardisé. 1 344 hommes et 1 756 femmes ont été interviewés. Diverses définitions actuelles des niveaux d’activité physique recommandés (modérée/intense) ont été utilisées.


          Indépendamment des recommandations utilisées comme critères, les hommes étaient plus actifs que les femmes. Le niveau socio-économique était associé négativement avec la pratique d’une activité physique pendant les loisirs pour les deux sexes. Une dose-réponse positive entre l’âge et la sédentarité a été identifiée chez les hommes mais pas chez les femmes.


          Les hommes et les femmes ont des niveaux de pratique de l’activité physique différents. Les variables associées à cette pratique varient également entre les sexes. Les interventions de promotion de l’activité physique devraient donc tenir compte de ces spécificités.

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          Most cited references26

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          Physical activity and health: a report of the Surgeon General

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            Distribution and determinants of sedentary lifestyles in the European Union.

            Many studies have shown the health burden of a sedentary lifestyle. The main goal of this study was to determine the prevalence of sedentary lifestyles in the 15 Member States of the European Union (EU) and to identify the main correlates of a sedentary lifestyle. Nationally representative samples (n approximately 1000 subjects in each country; >15 years) completed a questionnaire concerning attitudes to physical activity, body weight, and health; in total 15 239 subjects. Sedentary people were defined in two ways: (1) those expending less than 10% of their leisure time expenditure in activities involving >/=4 metabolic equivalents (MET). (2) Those who did not practice any leisure-time physical activity and who also were above the median in the number of hours spent sitting down during leisure time. Logistic regression models were fitted to analyse the association between sedentary lifestyles and gender, age, body mass index (BMI), educational level, weight change in the last 6 months, and marital and smoking status. Percentages of sedentary lifestyles across European countries ranged between 43.3% (Sweden) and 87.8% (Portugal) according to the first definition. According to both definitions, a lower prevalence of sedentary lifestyle was found in Northern countries (especially Scandinavian countries) as compared with Mediterranean countries, whereas the prevalence was higher among older, obese, less educated, widowed/divorced individuals, and current smokers. Similar relative differences between countries and socio-demographic groups were found independently of the method used to define a sedentary lifestyle. Prevalence of sedentary lifestyle in the EU is high, especially among inhabitants of some Mediterranean countries, obese subjects, less-educated people, and current smokers. This high prevalence involves important public health burdens and preventive strategies are urgently needed.
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              Physical inactivity: prevalence and associated variables in Brazilian adults.

              To measure the prevalence of physical inactivity, and variables associated with it, in an adult southern Brazilian population. Population-based cross-sectional study covering a multiple-stage sample of 3182 subjects aged 20 yr or more. Physical activity was assessed through the short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), using home interviews with last-week recall. The questionnaire covers leisure, occupation, transportation, and housework activities. Physical inactivity was defined as fewer than 150 min.wk(-1) spent in moderate or vigorous physical activities. The time spent in vigorous activities was multiplied by two. The prevalence of physical inactivity was 41.1%. After multivariate analyses, inactivity was positively associated with age and socioeconomic status, and inversely associated with self-reported health status. Those with white skin color and women who live alone rather than with a partner were more likely to have physical inactivity. Body mass index showed a significant U-shaped relationship with inactivity among men. The prevalence of physical inactivity in this Brazilian adult population is high, even though lower than reported in studies of leisure-time activity alone in other populations. Studies in developing countries may be seriously biased if activities during labor, transportation, and housework are not assessed.

                Author and article information

                + 55 53 3271 2442 , + 55 53 3271 2645 , marioazevedojr@terra.com.br
                Int J Public Health
                International Journal of Public Health
                Birkhäuser-Verlag (Basel )
                February 2007
                : 52
                : 1
                : 8-15
                Post-graduate Program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Av. Duque de Caxias, 250 - 3rd floor, CEP: 96030-002, Brazil
                © Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2007
                Original Article
                Custom metadata
                © Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2007

                Public health
                associated factors,developing countries,exercise,correlates,determinants,epidemiology,sedentarism


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