Objectives: To measure knowledge of current recommendations of physical activity and consequences of physical inactivity among healthcare providers throughout Brazil. Methods: A phone survey of 1600 randomly selected primary healthcare units in Brazil was conducted between January and July 2011. At each unit, a physician, nurse or community healthcare worker (n = 798) responded to a 40-minute survey, eliciting information about demographics, knowledge, and health behaviors pertaining to physical activity. Results: Among nurses and community healthcare workers, > 95% reported needing more information on physical activity guidelines. Among physicians this proportion was 80%. Nearly 40% of the professionals incorrectly believed 90-min of moderate-intensity physical activity per week is the recommended amount for health benefits; nearly 30% believed that 90-min of vigorous-intensity activity per week is needed for the same purpose. More than 75% of all groups reported that type II diabetes, hypertension, depression, and coronary heart disease might result from physical inactivity, but on average only 60% from each group are aware of osteoporosis as a possible consequence of physical inactivity. Conclusions: Training health professionals in how to convey all relevant information about physical activity to their patients is critical for health promotion within the primary care system in Brazil.
- Physical activity
- Primary health care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health