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J Epidemiol Community Health. 2008 Mar;62(3):239-44. doi: 10.1136/jech.2006.051953.

Changes in leisure time and occupational physical activity over 8 years: the Cornellè Health Interview Survey Follow-Up Study.

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  • 1Cancer Prevention and Control Unit, Institut Catalè d'Oncologia, Av Gran Via s/n, Km 2.7, 08907 L'Hospitalet, Barcelona, Spain.



To describe changes in leisure time and occupational physical activity status in an urban Mediterranean population-based cohort, and to evaluate sociodemographic, health-related and lifestyle correlates of such changes.


Data for this study come from the Cornellè Health Interview Survey Follow-Up Study, a prospective cohort study of a representative sample (n = 2500) of the population. Participants in the analysis reported here include 1246 subjects (567 men and 679 women) who had complete data on physical activity at the 1994 baseline survey and at the 2002 follow-up. We fitted Breslow-Cox regression models to assess the association between correlates of interest and changes in physical activity.


Regarding leisure time physical activity, 61.6% of cohort members with "sedentary" habits in 1994 changed their status to "light/moderate" physical activity in 2002, and 70% who had "light/moderate" habits in 1994 did not change their activity level. Regarding occupational physical activity, 74.4% of cohort members who were "active" did not change their level of activity, and 64.3% of participants with "sedentary" habits in 1994 changed to "active" occupational physical activity. No clear correlates of change in physical activity were identified in multivariate analyses.


While changes in physical activity are evident in this population-based cohort, no clear determinants of such changes were recognised. Further longitudinal studies including other potential individual and contextual determinants are needed to better understand determinants of changes in physical activity at the population level.

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