Changes in leisure physical activity, commuting and television watching in men and women users of the Brazilian National Health System in a middle-sized city: 18-months of follow-up
Abstract Given the importance of physical activity for health promotion and for the prevention of chronic non-communicable diseases, the Unified Health System (SUS) has changed its strategy of action in the last decades, trying to adopt preventive activities, seeking better quality of life of the Brazilian population and reduce costs with treatment of diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in physical activity and sedentary behavior patterns in users of the Brazilian National Unified Health System during 18 months and the impact of sex and time on such variables. One hundred and ninety-eight participants (58 men and 140 women) were evaluated. Physical activity level was assessed using the Baecke questionnaire. Men had higher scores in all physical activity variables compared to women: walking (p-value= 0.013), cycling (p-value= 0.001) and commuting (p-value= 0.007), but not for TV watching (p-value= 0.362). After 18 months, in the overall sample, walking score increased 25.9% (95%CI= 10.6 to 41.1), but not cycling (1.5% [95%CI= -2.7 to 5.7]), commuting (14.4% [95%CI= -0.4 to 29.3]) and TV watching (1.6% [95%CI= -5.7 to 9.1]). Men were usually more active than women in active behaviors, but not in TV watching. However, differences over time were similar between sexes.