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Rev Bras Epidemiol. 2012 Dec;15(4):871-83.

Practice of physical activity during leisure time and common mental disorders among residents of a municipality of Northeast Brazil.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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  • 1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação Física, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil.



To analyze the association between physical activity during leisure time and common mental disorders among residents in urban areas of Feira de Santana City, Bahia.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in a representative sample from the urban population. A sample of 3,597 individuals aged 15 years or older (71.4% female) was studied. A questionnaire gathered information about sociodemographic information, self-reported diseases, screening for mental disorders, lifestyle habits and physical activity during leisure time. To evaluate common mental disorders (CMD) the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20) was used. To analyze the association between leisure physical activity (active/inactive) and CMD, prevalence ratios (PR) and their respective 95% confidence intervals were estimated by using multiple logistic regression and the Delta method.


We found a frequency of 27.7% of individuals who were active during leisure time. The prevalence of CMD was lower among those active in leisure time, after adjustment by sex, age, income, education, alcohol consumption and smoking (PR = 0.78; 95% CI0.70 to 0.87).


The population of Feira de Santana city has a high frequency of individuals insufficiently active during leisure, and this condition was associated with higher prevalence of CMD. Actions directed to mental health programs must encourage physical activity among the population, considering the association of this behavior with low prevalence of common mental disorders.

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