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Revista Habanera de Ciencias Médicas

versión On-line ISSN 1729-519X


PAREDES PRADA, Erika Tatiana; PEREZ CASANOVA, María Fernanda  y  RODRIGUES, Jhennyfer Aline Lima. Physical activity in adults: recommendations, determinants and measurement. Rev haban cienc méd [online]. 2020, vol.19, n.4, e2906.  Epub 10-Sep-2020. ISSN 1729-519X.


Several studies have shown the potential benefits of the practice of Physical Activity (PA) over the years; however, some modulators known as determinants that modify its practice have also been identified.


To gather and summarize available information on the importance of physical activity, its definition, determinants and evaluation methods in adults, as well as to establish the development of recommendations over time.

Material and Methods:

A search was made in different databases using search terms of physical activity, recommendations, and determinants in both English and Spanish during the period between 1996 and 2019. Articles related to adults were included and those about children and adolescents were excluded.


The recommendations have evolved from 1978 when the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) established very general specifications such as PA practices from 3 to 5 days per week at an intensity between 60% and 90% Heart Rate Reserve (HRR) until the most recent recommendations made by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2018. Objective and subjective criteria are among the evaluation methods.


Regular PA practice is an efficient strategy to reduce the risk factors associated with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Likewise, subjective and objective criteria are identified for its evaluation. The recommendations have evolved from 1978 to 2018 establishing that adults should be involved in PA from 150 to 300 minutes per week.

Palabras clave : Physical Activity; potential benefits; evaluation; instruments.

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