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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064

Abstract

DE SOUZA OLIVEIRA, Cristiano; PINHEIRO GORDIA, Alex  and  BIANCHINI DE QUADROS, Teresa Maria. Changes in the physical activity of university students: association with health information and access to places for practicing. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2017, vol.19, n.5, pp.617-623. ISSN 0124-0064.  http://dx.doi.org/10.15446/rsap.v19n5.46072.

Objective

To evaluate changes in the physical activity level (PAL) of students within the first two years of studies and their association with access to health information and places for physical activity.

Methods

The sample included students who were admitted to the Federal University of Reconcavo in Bahia, Brazil, and were observed during their first two years of studies. Socioeconomic and demographic aspects, as well as body mass, height, health information and access to places for physical activity were assessed through a self-report. PAL was measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and classified based on the criteria of the Research Committee for IPAQ. Chi-square test and McNemar test (p<0.05) were used for statistical analysis.

Results

The sample that participated during the entire observation period was composed of 92 students (64.1% female). The insufficiently active students ratio increased from 7.6% to 12.0% during the first two years of undergraduate studies, but this difference was not significant (p>0.05). Students who did not receive information about health care during the course of their studies were more likely to remain/become insufficiently active (p<0.001). There was no association between PAL and access to places for physical activity (p>0.05).

Conclusion

A tendency to an increase in insufficiently active ratio during higher education was observed. Policies aimed at training students about health care in universities may be useful for increasing physical activity, thus contributing to improve the health condition of the students.

Keywords : Motor activity; health promotion; universities; students; health education; epidemiology (source: MeSH, NLM).

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