Trends in leisure time and occupational physical activity in the Madrid region, 1995-2008

Rev Esp Cardiol. 2011 Jan;64(1):21-7. doi: 10.1016/j.recesp.2010.07.007. Epub 2010 Dec 30.


Introduction and objectives: Information on trends in physical activity is very scarce in Mediterranean countries, which have the highest sedentariness in Europe. This study describes recent trends in leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and at work in the Madrid region.

Methods: The data were taken from representative annual surveys of population aged 18-64 years, between 1995-2008, 28,084 people participated. We calculated total energy, quantified in metabolic equivalent (MET-1 h per week), spent on LTPA and on light LTPA (<3 MET), moderate LTPA (3-6 MET) and vigorous LTPA (>6 MET). The annual change in LTPA was estimated by linear regression, and occupational activity by logistic regression, adjusting for age, gender and educational level.

Results: The total amount of LTPA in MET-1 h per week declined by 19.8% (P<.001) between 1995-2008; for both genders, all age groups and educational levels, except for those with the lowest level of education. The adjusted annual change in MET-1 h per week was: -0.21 (P<.001) for total LTPA; -0.1 (P<.001) for light; -0.08 (P<.001) for moderate; and -0.03 (P=.192) for vigorous. This decline is reflected by a shift to the left of the LTPA distribution in the population. Occupational physical inactivity has increased in the general population (odds ratio for annual change=1.01; 95% confidence interval, 1-1.02); specially in women, young and middle aged, and intermediate educational level.

Conclusions: There has been a decline in LTPA, mainly in light and moderate activities, accompanied by greater occupational physical inactivity. This could have contributed to the increase in obesity in the Community of Madrid between 1995-2008.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Spain
  • Urban Health
  • Young Adult