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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


GIEHL, Maruí Weber Corseuil et al. Physical activity and environment perception among older adults: a population study in Florianópolis, Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.3, pp.516-525.  Epub Apr 03, 2012. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of the practice of leisure-time physical activity in older adults and to analyze its association with environment perception. METHODS: Cross-sectional population study conducted from September 2009 to June 2010 with 1.656 individuals aged 60 years or older, living in the urban zone of the city of Florianópolis, Southern Brazil. Leisure-time physical activity was measured using the long version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Environment perception variables were measured by means of a modified version of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale. Crude and adjusted analyzes were carried out using Poisson regression with a 5% significance level. RESULTS: The prevalence of leisure-time physical activity was 29.7% (95% CI: 26.0; 33.3); 35.6% (95%CI: 29.7; 41.6) among men and 26.3% (95%CI: 23.1; 29.4) among women. The elderly who reported the existence of sidewalks, bike lanes, pedestrian paths and trails in the neighborhood, as well as those who reported receiving support from friends or neighbors to engage in physical activities, were more active in their leisure time. Concerning the influence of the climate, the elderly who reported that it was a barrier were rated as more active. CONCLUSIONS: The practice of leisure-time physical activity still has low prevalence among the elderly population of Florianópolis. Public spaces for the practice of physical activity and encouraging group activities may play a significant role in the promotion of leisure-time physical activity in older adults.

Keywords : Aged; Motor activity; Leisure Activities; Perception Environment; Social Environment; Cross-sectional studies.

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