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Journal

Health-enhancing physical activity and associated factors in a Spanish population

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Published:25th Mar 2020

Objective:

This study describes the prevalence of health-enhancing physical activity and leisure-time physical activity in a Spanish sample and identifies the characteristics of the physically active and inactive populations.

Design:

A cross-sectional study.

Methods:

A random sample of 1595 adults (18�70 years old) living in Catalonia, Spain were assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (short version) and categorised according to their physical activity levels. The independent associations between physical activity levels and socio-demographic and health-related variables were investigated.

Results:

Seventy-seven percent of the population engaged in health-enhancing physical activity. Being a young adult (odds ratio=2.0; 95% confidence interval=1.25�3.21) and having a normal weight (odds ratio=1.46; 95% confidence interval=1.04�2.03) were positively associated with a high health-enhancing physical activity level. Living in a medium-sized town (odds ratio=1.60; 95% confidence interval=1.09�2.35) was positively associated with a moderate health-enhancing physical activity level, whereas being male (odds ratio=0.72; 95% confidence interval=0.53�0.96) odds ratio a middle-aged adult (odds ratio=0.67; 95% confidence interval=0.46�0.97) was negatively associated with a moderate health-enhancing physical activity level. Regarding leisure-time physical activity, 16.1% of the participants were active, 28.3% were lightly active and 55.6% were sedentary. Being male, being a non-smoker, having a normal weight and living with a partner increased the odds of engaging in leisure-time physical activity.

Conclusions:

Engaging in health-enhancing physical activity is common but not during leisure time, as concluded based on a representative sample of adults from Catalonia, Spain. Being a young adult, having a normal weight odds ratio living in a medium-sized town was positively associated with a high health-enhancing physical activity level, whereas being male odds ratio a middle-aged adult was negatively associated with a moderate health-enhancing physical activity level.

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