Several studies have suggested that aerobic physical activity is safe and beneficial for HIV-infected adults.
However, there is information lacking regarding whether HIV-infected patients practice physical activity and to what
extent. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to determine the prevalence of physical activity, sedentary
lifestyle or lack of physical activity in non-experimental conditions performed by HIV-infected subjects. The electronic
search was conducted using Medline and EMBASE bibliographic databases and the platforms of Bireme, Ovid, Science
Direct, High Wire and SCIELO from January 1990 to July 2011. Original observational studies were included. Of the
2,838 articles found, 48 met the inclusion criteria. Following data extraction and after reading the manuscripts, 24 were
selected for systematic review. Of the 24 studies, most were cross-sectional studies. The average quality score using the
modified Newcastle-Ottawa scale was 2.8±1.5. The diversity of methods used to assess physical activity precluded the
calculated summary estimate of prevalence. The percentage of sedentary lifestyle was determined in 13 articles which
conducted studies on HIV-infected individuals. The percentage of sedentary lifestyle or physical inactivity ranged from
19% to 73%, with the level determined by different methods. In conclusion, there are few well-designed studies with
adequate sample size to represent the population of HIV-infected individuals. A pooled estimate could not be calculated
due to the differences in physical activity measurements and definitions of physically active and non-active HIV-infected
Keywords: HIV, AIDS, physical activity, motor activity, lifestyle, sedentary, systematic review, exercise, methods, data.
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