Physical Activity Epidemiology and Health Policies

Academic year
Subject Area
Physical Activity and Health
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
3rd Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Not applicable.

Teaching Methods

Oral sessions, practical application of the different instruments used to measure physical activity and individual bibliographic search.

Learning Outcomes

Health Policies Module: Definition of health systems, main objectives, performance assessment and funding models. Measuring in Health.

Exercise and Health Module: Learn about recent developments in epidemiology and public health. Physical condition and its components (cardiorespiratory, morphological, musculoskeletal, kinetic perceptive and metabolic). Physical activity, exercise, sports and health. Interconnection between the concepts of physical condition, physical activity and health. Epidemiology of physical activity and the elderly.

Metrology of Physical Activity Module: Acknowledge the concepts related to sports, exercise, physical activity and daily energy expenditure, presenting results obtained on population studies that focus on the risk of physical inability and a sedentary lifestyle. Learn about the instruments for measuring physical activity and researching for epidemiological studies; operational definitions of high-risk conditions.

Work Placement(s)



Introduction to health economics. The concept of health systems. The evolution of the Portuguese Health System. Measuring in health. Health concepts, state of health and life quality. Conceptual measuring models. Life quality related to health. Applications of health questionnaires. Quality criterion of measuring instruments in health.

Instruments for assessing physical activity: critical analysis of different options. Using Baecke questionnaire. Using the three-day diary. Using accelerometers. Inclusion criterion and cut-off values for classifying the “physically active”. Correlation between Actigraphyand Actimetry measures.

Epidemiology and public health. Interconnection between the concepts of physical condition, physical activity and health. Epidemiology of physical activity and the elderly. Immunosenescence and exercise. Global cardiovascular risk. Anti-inflammatory effect of the exercise: its role in obesity and diabetes control.

Head Lecturer(s)

Ana Maria Miranda Botelho Teixeira

Assessment Methods

Specific assignments for the course modules: 100.0%


  • American College of Sports Medicine (2009). ACSMs Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 8th Ed., Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
  • Ainsworth, BE et al (2000). Compendium of physical activities: an update of activity codes and MET intensities. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. Vol. 32, No. 9, Suppl., pp. S498-S516
  • Bonita R, et al (2006). Basic Epidemiology (2nd Ed.). Geneva: World Health Organization
  • Martins R (2006). Exercício Físico e Saúde Pública, Lisboa: Livros Horizonte
  • Montoye HJ, et al (1996). Measuring physical activity and energy expenditure. Champaign, Illinois. Human Kinetics
  • Malina RM, et al (2004). Growth, maturation and physical activity. Champaign, Illinois. Human Kinetics. Physical Activity and Health, the evidence explained
  • Essays in Biochemistry: The Biochemical basis of the Health Effects of Exercise. Ed. A.J.M. Wagenmakers, Portland Press, v 42, 2006
  • Welk GJ (2002). Physical activity assessments for health-related research. Champaign, Illinois. Human Kinetics