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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Gender differences in leisure-time physical activity

Mario Renato Azevedo, Cora Luiza Pavin Araújo, Felipe Fossati Reichert, Fernando Vinholes Siqueira, Marcelo Cozzensa da Silva, Pedro Curi Hallal
International Journal of Public Health 2007, 52 (1): 8-15
17966815

OBJECTIVES: 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.

METHODS: 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. 1344 men and 1756 women were interviewed. Several definitions of moderate and vigorous-intensity physical activity were used.

RESULTS: 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.

CONCLUSIONS: 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.

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