Prevalence and factors associated with leisuretime physical activity: survey repeated in university students

Sueyla Ferreira da Silva dos Santos, Ismael Forte Freitas Júnior, Ana Maria Alvarenga, Silvio Aparecido Fonseca, Jair Sindra Virtuoso Junior, Thiago Ferreira de Sousa



The practice of leisure physical activity represents a behavior that must be monitored in different population groups. The objectives of this study were i) to compare the prevalence of leisure-time physical activity in university students along the survey years in three separate years; ii) to analyze the factors associated with practice of leisure time physical activity in each survey. Three surveys in a college institution in northeastern Brazil in 2010, 2012 and 2014 were carried out. The dependent variable was practice of leisure-time physical activity. Exploratory variables were sociodemographic factors and link with the university. The prevalence was compared using the chi-square test for linear trend and association for Prevalence Ratio. Participation was of 1,084, 1,085 and 1,041 college students in 2010, 2012 and 2014, respectively. The prevalence of leisure-time physical activity was approximately 50% in the three surveys. Women were less active in leisure time on the three surveys. In each survey, associations were different in relation the courses, and Chemistry – teacher training, Computer Science, Pedagogy – teacher training and Linguistics (no specialization) students showed lower levels of leisure-time physical activity and Biomedicine, Geography – Bachelor, Physical Education – teacher training and Geography – teacher training students were more active in leisure time. It was concluded that there was a stabilization of the prevalence of active leisure over time and that women showed lower prevalence of leisure-time physical activity in the three surveys.


Cross-sectional studies; Longitudinal studies; Recreational activities; Students

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The abbreviated title of the journal is Rev. Bras. Cineantropom. Desempenho Hum, which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references. E-ISSN 1980-0037, impressa ISSN 1415-8426, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.