INTRODUCTION Physical inactivity is a risk factor for hypertension. The objective of this study was to examine the association between self-reported leisure-time physical activity and hypertension among Brazilian adults categorized by sex and body weight. METHODS The study used data from adult respondents in 26 capital cities and the Federal District to VIGITEL (N = 54,353), Brazil's 2008 national surveillance system for risk and protective factors for chronic diseases. We conducted a multivariate logistic regression analysis to investigate the association between self-reported leisure-time physical activity and hypertension and examined whether sex or body weight modified this relationship. RESULTS The prevalence of self-reported hypertension was high among women, older people, and people with fewer years of education. Overall, leisure-time physical activity decreased with increasing age, increased with increasing education level, and was higher among men than women. The association for leisure-time physical activity and hypertension was modified by sex but not body weight. Leisure-time physical activity reduced the odds of hypertension in men. CONCLUSION On the basis of self-reporting, leisure-time physical activity may be protective against hypertension in Brazilian men. Inclusion of other physical activity domains in the analyses may be necessary to fully understand the complex relationship between physical activity and hypertension by sex. In addition, public health priorities in Brazil for improving physical activity can target the entire population and not just those who are overweight or obese.