Exercise in Argentine Physicians: Survey on Physical Activity Habits and Attitudes

Lorenzo Martín Lobo, José Gustavo Escobar Calderón, Walter Masson, Melina Huerin, Diego Guillermo Manente, Adriana Alejandra Ángel, Oscar Mario Pángaro, Laura Elena Vitagliano, María Graciela Rostan, Andrés Mulassi, Mariano Giorgi

Abstract


Introduction: Sedentarism is associated with higher cardiovascular morbidity and mortality andis increasing in the general population. Physicians should have the best preparationto instruct patients on physical activity. There are, however, no validated local dataregarding physician´s habits and attitudes towards physical exercise.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to analyze the characteristics of physical activity in a medical population, determine the attitude towards patients regarding exercise, study therelationship between physical activity and age, gender and specialty and evaluate the population´s risk factors.

Methods: We surveyed physicians from the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and the Greater Buenos Aires using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Toassess the physical activity level, a scale based on weekly METS (<600 METS = lowphysical activity, > 3000 METS = vigorous physical activity) was applied.

Results: Five hundred and fifty physicians were included (53% men, mean age 38 years). Physical activity levels were low, moderate or vigorous in 37.5%, 57.5%, and 5% ofcases, respectively. Eighty percent of the medical population likes to exercise, 92% recommends exercise to their patients and 97% considers it beneficial for health. Themain reason for not performing exercise is lack of time. Men perform more vigorou sphysical activity than women (20 vs.15%, p <0.01). Cardiology is the specialty whichrecommends exercise most frequently to patients (75%)

Conclusions: In this medical population there was a lower prevalence of low physical activity thanin the general population, independently of gender, age group or specialty analyzed. Exercise recommendation to patients was generally high, though more elevated inclinical specialties.


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