Role of community-based, professionally supervised interventions to increase physical activity: Project GUIA, Brazil and other Latin American countries

dianagosalvez Diana Gosálvez Prados — 4/10/2012

Other Organization

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has funded a Guide for Useful Interventions for Physical Activity in Brazil and other Latin American countries, known as Project GUIA. The aim is to reduce obesity by identifying, evaluating and diffusing interventions that promote physical activity.


Goals Prevention:
Funding for detection programs , Creates healthy environments , Promotes health and wellbeing in schools and early years , Promotes adecuate understanding levels on the community about the importance of prevention , Focuses on social inequalities
Goals Detection:
Shows new evidence on the importance of early detection, including guidelines of effective practices , Advances public education on the importance of early detection
Goals Treatment:
Strengthens cooperative local groups to provide integral services , Improving access to health services across the entire spectrum, from prevention to treatment

Brazil has recognised the priority of promoting physical activity, and many governmental organisations and NGOs work together to support research, practice and policy regarding the promotion of physical activity.

One example of such interventions is the Academia da Cidade Program or “city gyms” – a health-promotion policy focusing on physical activity, leisure and healthy eating. The Health Secretary of Recife first implemented the programme in 2002. The programme currently has approximately 30,000 participants in its 19 “polos” – the settings where the physical activity takes place, most commonly public parks.

Academia da Cidade holds physical activity classes in the community daily from 5.30am to 8.30am and from 5.00pm to 8.00pm. There is a range of aerobic and dance classes, organised jogging groups, and exercise and diet sessions for individuals with hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and CVD.

The project shows that physical activity among workers can indeed be increased by the availability of professionally supervised and publicly available physical activity sessions in community settings. Organisers should ensure that no groups are excluded. Programmes such as these can be scaled up nationally and internationally.




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