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Prevalence of barriers for physical activity in adults according to gender and socioeconomic status
  1. Sebastião Sequeira,
  2. Cristina Cruz,
  3. Diogo Pinto,
  4. Luís Santos,
  5. Adilson Marques
  1. Francisco Carreiro da Costa Faculty of Human Kinetics, Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal


The aim of this study was to analyse the prevalence of barriers to physical activity (PA) among adults according to the gender and socioeconomic status (SES). A total of 2236 subjects (927 men, 1309 women) aged between 30 and 50 y (M = 42±5 y) participated in the study. The data was collected through a questionnaire. Qui-square tests were performed to analyse the differences between genders and SES on perceived barriers. Significance level was p <0.05. Only 31% (32% male, 31% female) achieved the current PA recommendation. The most cited barriers were lack of time (55%), costs (20%), the desire to do other things (15%), the failure to consider themselves as athletes (15%) and lack of infrastructures near where they live. All other reasons were mentioned by less than 10% of the individuals tested. Among the most cited barriers, women reported costs more than men (12% male vs 25% female, p<0.001). On the other hand, men reported more often the lack of infrastructures in the neighbourhood (14% male, 9% female, p<0.001). In all of the most cited barriers there were significant differences between subjects with low and high SES. The barriers most associated with prevalence of inactivity among those with low SES were the failure to consider themselves as athletes (p<0.001), the costs (p<0.001), no time to practise (p=0.002) and the lack of infrastructures (p=0.002). The subjects with higher SES cited more often the desire to do other things. Women reported more often the barriers for PA in general, with big prevalence in the costs. Man, who practices informal PA more easily, reported more often the lack of infrastructures in the neighbourhood. Perceived barrier for PA were more prevalent in subjects with low SES. However, lack of time was a barrier most cited by men and women with high or low SES.

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