Background: Despite scientific knowledge of the health benefits of regular physical activity (PA), 20% of the world’s adult population can be considered inactive. Importantly, rates
of PA are not distributed evenly in society and several studies indicate that gender and educational and socioeconomic levels have considerable influence on regular PA participation. Recently, sport
mega-events such as the Olympic Games have been promoted as opportunities for changing the PA behaviour of the local population, transforming community sport euphoria into motivation for PA practice.
However, there is scarce evidence of this impact at the population level. The aim of this study was to analyse the current PA patterns of women living in a low socio-income community in Rio de Janeiro
that is located in close proximity to the 2016 Olympic Park.
Methods: This cross-sectional study collected data using the Portuguese long-version and face-to-face interview format of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). PA
levels were measured in four domains: occupational, household, transport-related (TRPA) and leisure time physical activity (LTPA). Adult women were recruited from four sites located within the
community of Cidade de Deus.
Results: The majority (54.8%) of participants reported high levels of PA when the four domains were combined. The participants spent, in average, 4040 ± 3278 MET-minute/week (CI95%:
3487 – 4593 MET-minutes/week) on PA. The domains which contributed the most for this pattern were occupational and household PA. When the analysis focused only on LTPA, the vast majority of
participants (88.1%) reported low levels of PA (less than 500 MET-minute/week). In the TRPA domain, participating women were relatively more active, but more than half of them (57%) still spent less
than 600 MET-minutes/week in this domain.
Conclusion: The results emphasise the discrepancies between different physical activity domains, suggesting also that these low-income women have little opportunity to engage in PA
during their leisure time. The proposed commitments of the Rio 2016 bid committee to increase PA participation by those living in the most disadvantaged areas of Rio de Janeiro need to be effectively
implemented if these sedentary practices during self-directed time are to be changed.