Br J Sports Med2011;45:A12
Lifestyle perception and physical activity practice
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between perception of lifestyle and the practice of physical activity (PA). A total of 1158 men (44±8 y) and 1560 women (43±8 y), aged 21–90 y participated in this study. The data was assessed by a questionnaire about PA participation with and without supervision. Participants were asked to rate their lifestyle perception and health on a 5-point Likert scale range from 1 (sedentary) to 5 (very active). T-test and Pearson’s correlation were used to analyse the data. On average participants reported to practise PA 2.9±3.1 times/week and 183±214 min/week. The high SDs show the wide dispersion of the results in both sexes. No difference was found between men and women regarding the number of times they practiced PA (3.0±3.1 vs 2.9±3.1 times/week, p=0.431). Men reported to practice PA during more time than women (209±235 vs 162±194 min/week) and the difference was significant (p<0.001). Although women indicated to practice PA for less time than men, they had a significant better perception of their lifestyle (men 3.21±1.04, women 3.37±1.03, p<0.001). In both sexes there was a positive and significant correlation between the number of times they practice PA and the perception of lifestyle (r=0.335, p<0.001; r=0.284, p<0.001). The same was observed for the time they expended practicing PA per week and the perception of lifestyle (r=0.353, p<0.001; r=0.290, p<0.001). Looking at the correlation of perception of lifestyle and perception of health it was also found a positive and significant correlation (r=0.317, p<0.001; r=0.242, p<0.001). Although men and women shown no difference regarding the number of times they practice PA, men tend to practice PA longer than women. Women perceive themselves as more active than they really are. It is clear a relationship between PA and perception of lifestyle, however, for men the correlation was slightly stronger than for the women.