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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


MONDRAGON-CARDONA, Álvaro et al. Physical activity in a rural community in Colombia. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2016, vol.18, n.5, pp.794-807. ISSN 0124-0064.


To characterize physical activity profiles in a rural community in the southwest of Colombia and to identify knowledge gaps on this issue in the country.


Cross-sectional study conducted in a rural area in Puerto Caldas, Pereira, Risaralda. The population of the study was obtained by convenience sampling from people participating in the activities of the Second Multidisciplinary Camp for Research and Services (CUMIS, for its acronym in Spanish), which was organized by the Colombian Association of Medical Students' Scientific Societies (ASCEMCOL, for its acronym in Spanish). The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was used in order to measure and classify the physical activity behaviors of this population.


Data from 100 subjects with a mean age of 43±18 years were collected. 6 % of the population did not perform any kind of physical activity, while 61 % performed vigorous physical activity. Men spent more time in doing vigorous and moderate physical activity than women did (p<0.05). The World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on physical activity were followed by 72.29 % (n=60) and 82.35 % (n=14) of the people with an age of 18 to64 and ≥65 years, respectively.


It is necessary to build up evidence regarding physical activity in rural areas in order to implement public policies that promote its practice in communities where socioeconomic and health inequities exist. Part of the population living in the community where the study was carried out does not follow the WHO recommendations on physical activity; therefore, the lack of public health interventions is highlighted. A better coherence between international resolutions, national public policies and their implementation could lead to an increase in practice levels of physical activity.

Keywords : Motor activity; exercise; life style; rural population; health promotion; public policy.

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