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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692


FILARDO, Ronaldo Domingues  and  LEITE, Neiva. Profile of individuals who starts exercise programs in gyms, as to body composition and goals in relation to age and sex. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2001, vol.7, n.2, pp.57-61. ISSN 1517-8692.

The search for a better quality of living in the recent years has increased the number of people concerned about body weight reduction. Many are looking for regular physical activities as an alternative way of treatment. The goal of this study was to investigate the profile of people entering a physical exercise program in fitness clubs, regarding body composition and purposes according to age and sex. A cross-sectional study, with a sample of 90 men and 89 women, who were physical activity beginners in a fitness club in Curitiba, evaluated between August 1998 and September 1999 was performed. To collect data, subjects were asked to fill in a questionnaire with preset goals. Data concerning anthropometric measures, weight, height, and skinfolds were collected according to Wartenweiler et al. (1974). To estimate the adult body density, the four skinfolds equation of Petroski (1995) was used. To estimate the percentage of body fat (%F) the Siri (1961) equation was used. The Student t-test for independent samples was the statistical treatment used. There was a significant statistical difference (p < 0.05) between age groups for body mass index (BMI) and %F in men and for %F in women. It was also observed that 45.7% of men with age between 20 and 30 years wished to increase their muscle mass and 54.9% of the women wanted to reduce their weight. For the age groups between 30 and 40 years, 35% of the men wished to reduce weight. Although 55% of the women between 20 and 30 years wished to reduce body weight, only 16.9% really needed it. The authors concluded that body fat increased with age in both male and female and that the mean values of %F and BMI showed that men and women have health conditions impaired with aging along with a change in their goals.

Keywords : Body composition; Physical activity; Exercise programs.

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