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About Ciafel...


The CIAFEL - The Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure (Centro de Investigação em Actividade Fìsica, Saúde e Lazer) is a Health Science Research Unit founded by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Ministry of Science) and has as its home institution the Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education at the University of Porto, Portugal.


Scopes and Objectives


The scope of the CIAFEL is to promote basic and applied research on health-related physical activity field, valuing the relationships between physical activity, health and leisure.

Unit Scope

The objectives os CIAFEL are articulated in three domains:

  1. Research

    Promoting and collaborate in basic and applied research projects at national and international level on health-related physical activity issues, which express timely and important questions dealing with the relationship between health (mainly chronic diseases), physical activity and leisure.
    The research projects and activities of the CIAFEL are organized based on the scope and objectives of the unit and are articulated in order to study the role and the relationship of physical activity in primary and secondary prevention of the chronic diseases (e.g. cardiovascular disease and obesity) as well as the role of physical and leisure activities in population well-being.

  2. Unit Scope
  3. Community Intervention

    Provide services to the comunity and developing effective intervention strategies leading the intervention process in physical activity programs, such as ACORDA! (intervention program for obese children and adolescents) and Exercise and Health for the Elderly.

  4. Unit Scope
  5. Continuous education

    CIAFEL members are deeply involved in educational activities (bachelor, master and PhD programmes) and continuous formation programmes (FOCO) to enhance the knowledge, skills and effective methods available for sport sciences, health and leisure professionals.

  6. Unit Scope


Unit Organization



Unit Activities management


Efecctive members of the CIAFEL are those persons participating in projects promoted by CIAFEL and who meet the conditions established for membership of research unit by the Fundação para a Ciencia e tecnologia (Ministry of Science).

Associated members of the CIAFEL are those persons participating in projects promoted by CIAFEL and who are effective members of other research units financed by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia. Other members of the CIAFEL may include post-graduate students working on projects promoted by CIAFEL or researchers who belong to projects associated with CIAFEL.

Scientific Council

The Scientific Council of the CIAFEL comprise all unit research members who have completed their PhD. The Scientific Council aims are the definition of research areas and supervising the research projects carried out by the unit.

Collaboration and partnership

The CIAFEL develops its activities in close cooperation with several institutions and individuals that give advice for scientific and tecnhical support to the unit activities.

Unit Scope


Scientific Adviser External Commission


Based on the FCT-CIAFEL contract, the CIAFEL has a Scientific Adviser Board that comprises world-wide scientific recognized individual. For the next term the commission board has Professor (1) Hans Joachin Appell. Deutsche Sporthochschule Koln, Germany, (2) (2) Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko Head Department of Kinesiology- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA and, (3) Francisco Manuel Lemos Amado; Director of School of Health at Aveiro University, Portugal.

Unit Scope


Research Granted Projects

  1. Prevalence and incidence of cardiovascular diseases risk factors in school aged children (1997/2000)
    Grant: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia - Práxis XXI PSAU/122/96
  2. Children Playground - A Case Study (1999/2000)
    Grant: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
  3. Effects of Exercise in Physical Fitness of Aged People (1999/2000)
    Grant: Instituto de Segurança Social
  4. Physical Activity and Sports during Leisure Time (2000/2001)
    Grant: National Institute of Sports, ref: PAFID - 2ªF/00
  5. Inequalities in accessibility to physical activity during leisure time (2001/2002)
    Grant: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
  6. Social and Gender Differences in Physical Activity Choices during Adolescence (2001/2002)
    Grant: National Institute of Sports, ref: PADIF - 2ªF/01
  7. Association between Physical Activity and Socioeconomic Status with Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Diseases (2001/2003)
    Grant: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, proj. 48988/2001
  8. Influence of Environmental and Social Determinants in Physical Activity Tracking (2001/2003)
    Grant: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, proj. 48973/2001
  9. Amphetamines and Exercise. An hazardous combination? (2002/2004)
    Grant: Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia - POCT/43562-ICTEA
  10. Relevance of Gluteus Medius Dysfunction on Osteoarthritis of Hip Joint (2002/2004)
    Grant: I&D in Science and Health Technology - University of Aveiro/CIAFEL
  11. The role of Gender, Social Inequalities and Health Beaviors in Obesity (2002/2005)
    Grant: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia - PIHM49737/2003