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The practice of physical activity of the Portuguese adults and fulfilment of physical activity recommendations
  1. João Pedro Carvalho,
  2. Joana André,
  3. Luís Raia,
  4. João Martins,
  5. Adilson Marques,
  6. Francisco Carreiro da Costa
  1. Faculty of Human Kinetics, Technical University of Lisbon, Cruz Quebrada – Dafundo, Portugal


The aim of the study was to analyse (by sex and age) the practice of physical activity (PA) in Portuguese adults according to the recommendation for PA. The sample consisted of 2657 adults (1130 male, 1527 female) age 20 to 60 y (43±7 y). PA was assessed by a questionnaire about leisure time activities and PA participation. The number of PA sessions per week and their intensity were taken into account to determine the meeting of the recommendations (moderate-intensity aerobic PA for a minimum of 30 min. 5 days/week, or vigorous PA for a minimum of 20 min 3 days/week). The data were analysed separating age, by brackets of 10 years, and sex. Statistical analyses were performed using qui-square and t-test. For the entire sample, only 32% (men 32%, women 31%) met the guidelines of PA. While the percentage of male that met the recommendation was higher among youngsters (43%), among women the oldest were the most active (33%). In general, there was no significant differences between sexes and the meeting of the recommendations (p=0.636). Within adults, both male and female, age-groups were not different (p=0.860, p=0.932). Analysing each age-group, the percentage of males that meet the recommendation was higher than female at age of 20–30 (43% vs 30%) and 41–50 (33 vs 315). On the other hand, the opposite was observed at age of 31–40 (30% vs 32%) and 51–60 (32% vs 33%). Although the percentage of men and women that meet the recommendation were different in all age-groups, it was observed that the meeting of the PA guidelines were independent of the sex – 20–30 (p=0.181), 31–40 (p=0.513), 41–50 (p=0.398) and 51–60 (p=0.912). Most of the participants did not practise enough PA to meet the recommendations. Both sexes have similar results in each age-group, demonstrating that both sex and age have no relationship with the meeting of PA guidelines.

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