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Rev Saude Publica. 2010 Oct;44(5):884-93. Epub 2010 Jul 30.

Adult physical activity levels and associated factors in rural communities of Minas Gerais State, Brazil.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Departamento de Enfermagem Materno Infantil e Saúde Pública, Escola de Enfermagem, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil.



To estimate the physical activity level and its association with sociodemographic factors in adults living in rural areas.


Cross-sectional population study including 567 adults in two rural communities from the Jequitinhonha Valley, Southeastern Brazil, during the years of 2008 and 2009. Physical activity levels were assessed with the adapted long version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. A cut-off point of 150 minutes per week was used in the analyses for the domains: occupational, household, leisure and commuting. The sociodemographic factors studied were sex, skin color, age, marital status, education and self-reported health. Bivariate analysis (chi-square test, p< 0.05) and multiple logistic regression analysis were performed.


The prevalence of subjects practicing 150 min/wk or more of work related physical activity was 82.9% (95% CI: 77.8;88.0) of those currently working. The equivalent proportions for the other domains were: household 63.5% (95% CI: 59.6; 67.4); leisure time 10.1% (95% CI: 7.6;12.6) and commuting 32.0% (95% CI: 28.2;35.8%). Men were more active than women in leisure time, commuting and occupational domains, while women were more active in the household domain. Leisure time physical activity was more prevalent in younger subjects, those with higher levels of education and among those of black or mixed skin color. Commuting physical activity was more frequent among younger women and among men and women in excellent/good health. Men with higher level of schooling were less active in the commuting domain.


The prevalence of physically active adults in this rural area was high, but the levels of leisure time physical activity were low and followed patterns similar to those observed in urban areas, in relation to age, sex and educational status.

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