To date, no research has investigated social determinants of leisure time physical activity through the lens of intersectionality in a low- and middle-income country. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the intersectionality in leisure time physical activity in a nationwide sample of Brazilian adults.
Data from the Brazilian National Health Survey conducted in 2013 were analysed (
N= 58,429). Prevalence of sufficient leisure time physical activity (150+ minutes per week in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity) was estimated according to gender, racial identity, education and income, and according to multiple combinations of these sociodemographic characteristics (i.e., multiple jeopardy index). Results
The prevalence of sufficient leisure time physical activity was 22.9% (95%CI: 22.3 to 23.6). Overall, the prevalence of sufficient leisure time physical activity was highest among men, individuals with white skin colour, and among those in the highest group of education and income. Among men, white, with a university degree and in the highest quartile of income (3% of the population), the prevalence of sufficient leisure time physical activity was 48%. Among non-white women with low education and low income (8.1% of the population), the prevalence of sufficient leisure time physical activity was 9.8%.
Informed by the theory of intersectionality, findings of this study have shown that intersections of gender, racial identity and socioeconomic position of the Brazilian society strongly influence leisure time physical activity at the individual level. Targeted interventions to increase leisure time physical activity should address the complexities of social status intersections.