Prevalence of physical activity in European adults: compliance with the World Health Organization's physical activity guidelines

Adilson Marques, Hugo Sarmento, João Martins, Luís Saboga Nunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Adults are recommended to engage in at least 150 min/week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (PA). Purpose: This study aimed to examine the level of compliance with PA recommendations among European adults. Methods: Using data from European Social Survey round 6, PA self-report data was collected from 52,936 European adults from 29 countries in 2012. Meeting PA guidelines was assessed using World Health Organization criteria. Results: 61.47% (60.77% male, 62.05% female) of European adults reported to be engaged in moderate to vigorous PA at least 30 min on 5 or more days per week. The likelihood of achieving the PA recommended levels was higher among respondents older than 18-24. For those aged 45-64. years the likelihood increased 65% (OR = 1.65, 95% CI: 1.51-1.82, p<0.001) and 112% (OR = 2.12, 95% CI: 1.94-2.32, p<0.001) for males and females, respectively. Those who were high school graduates were more likely to report achieving the recommended PA levels than those with less than high school education (males: OR = 1.19, 95% CI: 1.12-1.27, p<0.001; females: OR = 1.13, 95% CI: 1.06-1.20, p<0.001). Conclusion: Although about 60% of European adults reported achieving the recommended levels of PA, there is much room for improvement among European adults, particularly among relatively inactive subgroups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-338
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume81
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015

Keywords

  • Cross-sectional study
  • Europe
  • Lifestyle
  • Physical activity guidelines

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