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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


TRIBESS, Sheilla; VIRTUOSO-JUNIOR, Jair Sindra  and  PETROSKI, Edio Luiz. Factors associated with physical inactivity amongst elderly women in low-income communities. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2009, vol.11, n.1, pp.39-49. ISSN 0124-0064.

Objective Identifying factors associated with physical inactivity amongst elderly women living in low-income communities. Methods This was a cross-sectional study involving a representative sample of 265 women aged 60 or more; all were members of shared-experience groups and residents from the municipality's urban part. Interviews were held containing questions regarding socio-demographic data, physical and mental health and variables related to body image. Individuals' habitual levels of physical activity represented the dependent variable being investigated, determined using the International Physical Activities Questionnaire (adapted for elderly people). Statistical analysis was carried out using a p<0.05 significance level; respective odds ratios were calculated in binary logistical regression for hierarchical cluster analysis. Results A 35.5% prevalence of women classified as being insufficiently active was found; hierarchical multivariate analysis revealed significant associations with being aged 80 or more (6.3 OR; 1.56-7.18 95%CI), moderate to severe dependency when carrying out instrumental daily activities (3.5 OR; 1.40-8.90 95%CI) and dissatisfaction with excess body weight (1.8 OR;1.01-3.46 95%CI). Conclusions Of the variables analysed here, being aged 80 or more, moderate to severe functional limitations regarding instrumental daily activities and dissatisfaction with body weight were most associated with physical inactivity, even when controlled for the other variables being studied.

Keywords : Physical activity; age; body image.

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