Population surveys are a key component of the relevant activities for public health. There is growing interest in identifying behavioral aspects which influence individual and collective health, such as physical activity (PA). The aim of this study is to present PA data from the 2008 Brazilian National Household Survey (PNAD) according to regional distribution and the socio-demographic characteristics. A partnership between the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics and the Ministry of Health was responsible for preparing the health supplement of the questionnaire. The sample size was 292,553 individuals. The proportion of subjects practicing PA at the recommended levels in leisure time was 10.5%, exactly the same proportion of subjects reporting active transportation to and from work. Males and younger adults were more active; schooling was directly related to leisure-time PA and inversely associated with transport-related physical activity. One fifth of the Brazilians did not report any physical activity at all and 35.7% watch TV for 3 hours or more, on average, per day. These data may help design public policies aimed at promoting health, in particular through PA, which may positively influence on the quality of life of the Brazilian population.