Aim: To describe changes in leisure time and occupational physical activity status in an urban Mediterranean population-based cohort, and to evaluate sociodemographic, health-related and lifestyle correlates of such changes.
Methods: Data for this study come from the Cornellè Health Interview Survey Follow-Up Study, a prospective cohort study of a representative sample (n = 2500) of the population. Participants in the analysis reported here include 1246 subjects (567 men and 679 women) who had complete data on physical activity at the 1994 baseline survey and at the 2002 follow-up. We fitted Breslow-Cox regression models to assess the association between correlates of interest and changes in physical activity.
Results: Regarding leisure time physical activity, 61.6% of cohort members with “sedentary” habits in 1994 changed their status to “light/moderate” physical activity in 2002, and 70% who had “light/moderate” habits in 1994 did not change their activity level. Regarding occupational physical activity, 74.4% of cohort members who were “active” did not change their level of activity, and 64.3% of participants with “sedentary” habits in 1994 changed to “active” occupational physical activity. No clear correlates of change in physical activity were identified in multivariate analyses.
Conclusion: While changes in physical activity are evident in this population-based cohort, no clear determinants of such changes were recognised. Further longitudinal studies including other potential individual and contextual determinants are needed to better understand determinants of changes in physical activity at the population level.
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↵* The CHIS.FU Study Group: Esteve Fernandez (principal investigator), Anna Schiaffino and Montse Garcia (study coordinators), and Mercè Martí, Esteve Saltó, Glòria Pérez, Mercè Peris, Carme Borrell, F Javier Nieto, and Josep Maria Borrès (associate researchers).
Funding: This study was funded by Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria (PI02/0261), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Network for Research in Cancer, RTICC, C03/10 and RD/06/0020/0089) and Government of Catalonia (2005SGR00646). CIC was supported by the Programme Alβan, the European Union Programme of High Level Scholarships for Latin America, scholarship No E04D045892AR.
Competing interests: None.
Contributors: EF, AS, MG and JMB designed the study protocol. AS and MG coordinated the follow-up data collection. EF and CIC designed the study on changes in physical activity to which all the authors made contributions. CIC checked all the information referring to physical activity. CIC, MG and EF defined the analysis strategy, CIC performed the statistical analysis, and all the authors contributed to the interpretation of the results. CIC wrote the first draft of the manuscript to which all the authors made contributions. EF is the guarantor of the paper.