International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 59, Issue 6, pp 975–982 | Cite as

Frequency, distribution and time trends of types of leisure-time physical activity in Brazil, 2006–2012

  • Thiago Herick de SaEmail author
  • Leandro Martin Totaro Garcia
  • Rafael Moreira Claro
Original Article



To describe the frequency and the distribution of the main types of leisure time physical activity (LTPA) practiced by Brazilian adults in 2012 and to observe their time trends from 2006 to 2012.


Cross-sectional data from the Brazilian surveillance system of risk and protective factors for non-transmissible chronic diseases from 2006 to 2012 (around 54,000 adults aged 18 years or older in all Brazilian State capitals interviewed yearly). Participants were asked whether they had practiced any type of exercise or sport in the last 3 months, and if so which type. Linear regression was used to identify trends of the five most cited LTPA.


In 2012, walking was reported as the main LTPA (18.1 %), followed by strength training/gymnastics (11.2 %) and football (7.2 %). Time–trend analysis showed reduction in football (9.1–7.2 %; p = 0.004, β = −0.25, R 2 = 0.79) and increase in strength training/gymnastics (7.9–11.2 %; p = 0.02, β = 0.50, R 2 = 0.62) and running (1.7–3.1 %; p < 0.001, β = 0.22, R 2 = 0.93).


Walking was the main type of LTPA. Patterns of LTPA types remained relatively stable over the last 7 years.


Environment and public health Physical education and training Walking Resistance training Bicycling Football 



THS would like to thank the São Paulo Research Foundation for the financial support (Fapesp, process number: 2012/08565-4).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thiago Herick de Sa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Leandro Martin Totaro Garcia
    • 1
  • Rafael Moreira Claro
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition, School of Public HealthUniversity of Sao PauloSao PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition, School of NursingFederal University of Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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