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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692


MELLO, Marco Túlio de; FERNANDEZ, Ana Cláudia  and  TUFIK, Sérgio. Epidemiological survey of the practice of physical activity in São Paulo City. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2000, vol.6, n.4, pp.119-124. ISSN 1517-8692.

Epidemiological studies conducted on general or specific populations are of vital importance for the determination of public health policies. One of the current health problems causing most concern is the growing number of obese people and, consequently, the health problems that result from obesity. In addition, sleep disorders, such as insomnia and disruption of the wake-sleep cycle that result from psychological, neurological and social factors are also important health problems. In the present study, we carried out an epidemiological survey of the practice of physical activity and of sleep problems in the general population of São Paulo City, Brazil. One thousand subjects from all regions of the City and representing all social categories answered a specific questionnaire. The findings showed that only 31.3% of the interviewees engaged in some type of physical activities and only 36.4% of these did so under professional supervision. Sleep complaints associated with insomnia were reported by 27.1% and 35.9% of physically active and inactive subjects (p < 0.03), respectively. Data from the National Survey on Health and Nutrition show an increase in the percentage of obese individuals in Brazil. This could partly be explained by our findings of low levels of physical activity, which could ultimately lead to an augmented incidence of metabolic (diabetes) and cardiac diseases. The present findings revealed a low percentage of engagement in supervised physical activities by the general population. Therefore, it becomes important to alert the population to the benefits of practicing supervised physical exercises.

Keywords : Physical activity; Sleep disorders; Fitness; Sleep; Epidemiological surveys.

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