[Physical activity during commuting by adults and elderly in Brazil: prevalence and associated factors]

Marina Cordeiro Madeira, Fernando Carlos Vinholes Siqueira, Luiz Augusto Facchini, Denise Silva da Silveira, Elaine Tomasi, Elaine Thumé, Suele Manjourany Silva, Alitéia Dilélio, Roberto Xavier Piccini
Cadernos de Saúde Pública 2013, 29 (1): 165-74
Evidence in the literature shows that physical activity associated with commuting (routine coming and going) can have a positive impact on health. The current study describes physical activity during commuting and some associated factors. A cross-sectional population-based study was conducted with 12,402 adults and 6,624 elderly in 100 municipalities (counties) from 23 States of Brazil. The outcome was based on the commuting section from the long version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Prevalence of insufficient physical activity during commuting (< 150 minutes per week) was 66.6% in adults and 73.9% in the elderly. Among the elderly, the very old showed 25 times higher odds of being insufficiently active as compared to younger elders. Individuals with self-reported "white" skin color were less active in commuting. The findings show that prevalence of physical activity in commuting in Brazil is low, and that encouraging physically active commuting can be an effective strategy for increasing levels of physical activity and improving health.

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