Physical activity levels in public school teachers

OBJECTIVE: To assess the level of physical activity in public school teachers. METHODS: Cross-sectional study conducted with 1,681 teachers from the city of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil, in 2009. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire short version was applied and the level of physical activity was categorized as low, moderate or high. The study sample was stratified by age, gender and area of the city (south and east). The chi-square test was used for comparisons at a 5% level of significance. RESULTS: The prevalence of low, moderate and high levels of physical activity was 46.3%, 42.7% and 11%, respectively. Low physical activity was more prevalent among those aged 31 to 42 years (19.5%) and less prevalent among those aged 55 to 66 (5.7%). Moderate and high levels of physical activity were less prevalent among older teachers. A greater proportion of teachers showed low and high levels of physical activity in the east compared to the south of the city (50.5% vs. 48.6%; 11.4% vs. 8.1%, respectively). The proportion of teachers reporting moderate physical activity was significantly lower in the east (38.1%) compared to the south of the city (43.3%). Low and high levels of physical activity were significantly higher in men than women (53% vs. 42.9%; 14.1% vs. 9.4%, respectively). The prevalence of moderate level of physical activity was significantly lower in men (32.9%) than women (47.7%). CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of low physical activity was strikingly high. Variables such as age, gender and city area should be taken into account while planning and targeting campaigns aimed at promoting increased physical activity in this population.

Faculty; Education; Primary and Secondary; Motor Activityt; Sedentary Lifestyle; Physical activity level


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