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Rev Esp Cardiol. 2009 Oct;62(10):1125-33.

Leisure-time physical activity in a southern European mediterranean country: adherence to recommendations and determining factors.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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  • 1Consejería de Sanidad de Madrid, Madrid, España.



To determine whether adults in Madrid, Spain adhere to leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) recommendations and to identify factors associated with adherence.


A telephone survey of 12,037 individuals, representative of the Madrid population aged 18-64 years, was conducted. The LTPA level was quantified in metabolic equivalent (MET) hours per week from answers to a questionnaire on the frequency and duration of LTPA. This level was compared with the recommendation to engage in at least moderate activity >or=150 min/week or vigorous activity >or=60 min/week. Factors associated with adherence to the recommendation were identified using logistic regression analysis.


The mean LTPA level was 17.3 MET-hours/ week (95% confidence interval [CI], 16.9-17.7 MET-hours/week) and 28.8% (95% CI, 28%-29.7%) adhered to the recommendation. The recommended level was achieved more frequently in men than women (odds ratio [OR]=2.41; 95% CI, 2.20-2.64). In comparison with younger individuals, adherence decreased gradually with age until 60-64 years, when the OR was 0.20 (95% CI, 0.15-0.25). Compared with less well-educated individuals, the university-educated were more likely to meet the recommendation (OR=2.28; 95% CI, 1.82-2.87). Obese individuals achieved it less frequently (OR=0.49; 95% CI, 0.40-0.61) than normal-weight individuals. Those whose job involved low-intensity physical activity achieved it more frequently than those with sedentary occupations (OR=1.21; 95% CI, 1.10-1.34).


The majority of adults in Madrid did not achieve the recommended LTPA level. Adherence was lower in women, older individuals, the less well-educated and the obese, while it was greater in those with a job involving low-intensity physical activity.

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