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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte
Print version ISSN 1517-8692
COELHO, Michele da Silva and SILVA, Osni Jacó da. Spontaneous outdoor physical exercise: how duration, frequency and intensity are controlled. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 1999, vol.5, n.1, pp. 9-12. ISSN 1517-8692. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86921999000100003.
Massive practice of physical exercises is one of the greatest progresses in terms of public health in recent years. However, doubts exist as to the effectiveness of these activities which are performed spontaneously. Most doubts are related to the possibility of overpracticing, which can be harmful. The purpose of this study was to investigate if, and how, physical exercises practitioners, in the street of Florianópolis-SC, prescribe and control the sessions concerning the criteria of duration, frequency and intensity. 100 individuals of both genders, who practiced physical exercises on Av. Beira Mar Norte, were chosen at random. A questionnaire was applied to those individuals the aim of which was to investigate the level of information about the duration, frequency and intensity of the sessions. Descriptive statistics was used to treat the data. Results showed that more than half of the individuals - 56.2% - who practice exercises by themselves, have the notion that some control must be done. But, the majority - 98.0% - described incorrect methods of control, although 44.3% have said that they exercise to keep a good health, and 8.9% have said that they practice due to medical indication. In other words, chances are that their goals have not been thoroughly achieved. Conclusion is that there is much to be done. It is not enough to convince the population that practicing exercises is good for the health. It is necessary to provide more information about how much exercise is needed and how it should be done. This role must be played by professionals of the Health and Physical Education areas.
Keywords : Physical conditioning; Physical exercise; Physical fitness; Health promotion; Health.