All the participants completed a four-question form of PA vital sign according to the IraPEN instruction [see Additional file 2]. In this checklist, the median (slow running or brisk walking) and intense (brisk running or brisk walking) PA levels are asked within a week. This parameter is expressed in metabolic equivalent tasks (MET)-min/week. One MET is usually considered to be 3.5 mL/min/kg resting oxygen consumption. The weekly total PA is obtained from the daily sum of the average (600–1500 MET-min/week) and vigorous (> 1500 MET-min/week) PA amounts during a week. According to the IraPEN guidelines, adults with a standard PA do at least 150 min of moderate aerobic PA or do at least 75 min of vigorous aerobic PA throughout the week. A person is considered sedentary if her/his PA with moderate intensity is less than 90 min. The validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by fifteen experts.

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