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Eur J Sport Sci. 2020 Mar 18:1-11. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2020.1736643. [Epub ahead of print]

Socio-demographic factors associated with physical activity and sitting time patterns in adults: An analysis based on the Portuguese Food, Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey.

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Laboratório de Pedagogia, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana e UIDEF, Instituto de Educação, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal.
Instituto de Saúde Ambiental, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal.
Centro Interdisciplinar do Estudo da Performance Humana (CIPER), Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal.
Centro de Investigação em Actividade Física Saúde e Lazer (CIAFEL), Faculdade de Desporto, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal.
Departamento de Ciências da Saúde Pública e Forenses, e Educação Médica, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal.
EPIUnit, Institute of Public Health, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.
Environmental Health Institute, Lisbon Medical School, University of Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal.
Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Lisbon Medical School, University of Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal.


ABSTRACTPhysical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviours (SB) influence health. Since most people engage in different combinations of both behaviours every day, understanding the socio-demographic characteristics of adults with distinct PA and sitting time (ST) patterns is important to contribute to evidence-based planning of public health strategies. Data from a national survey on diet and activity behaviours (IAN-AF, 2015/16) including 1724 adults (50.5% women, 18-64 years) from a representative sample of Portuguese adults was used in this study. Participants were interviewed face-to-face, and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was used. Logistic regression examined the associations between socio-demographic factors each of the four-low/high PA-ST groups. PA low/high categories were defined as in IPAQ, while ST low/high categories were defined according to ST tertiles (≤180 min/day, ≥360 min/day). A 'higher risk' behaviour pattern (low PA/high ST) was present in 37.3% of the adults and was likely associated with a middle household income, and with having 12 or more years of education. The 'lower risk' (high PA/low ST) represented 26.6% of the sample and was likely associated with middle-aged adults and with having a lower educational level. Being male, young and highly educated was related to being physically active and spending large amounts of time in ST. Besides adding to the body of mixed evidence on this theme, the identification of the socio-demographic factors associated with each PA/ST pattern will permit national public health authorities to define policies and tailored actions to promote PA and reduce ST.


behaviour; exercise; lifestyle; quantitative study; sedentary living

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