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Revista de Saúde Pública

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FARIAS JUNIOR, José Cazuza de; LOPES, Adair da Silva; MOTA, Jorge  and  HALLAL, Pedro Curi. Physical activity practice and associated factors in adolescents in Northeastern Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.3, pp.505-515.  Epub Apr 17, 2012. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the proportion of physically active adolescents and identify associated factors. METHODS: The sample was composed of 2,874 high school students (public and private schools) aged 14 to 19 years in the city of João Pessoa, Northeastern Brazil. Physical activity level was measured by means of a questionnaire and considered physically active if > 300 minutes/week. Sociodemographic variables were analyzed, as well as nutritional status, sedentary behavior, self-report of health status and participation in physical education classes. The prevalence ratio was used as association measure, estimated by means of Poisson regression. RESULTS: The prevalence of physical activity was 50.2% (95%CI: 47.3;53.1). Male adolescents were more physically active than female adolescents (66.3% vs. 38.5%; p<0.001). The factors directly associated with practice of physical activity were: father's higher level of schooling for the male sex and mother's higher level of schooling for the female sex, positive self-reported health status, and participation in physical education classes. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of the adolescents was classified as physically active, particularly the male youths. Adolescents with parents whose level of schooling was higher, with positive health status perception, and who participated in physical education classes were more likely to be physically active.

Keywords : Adolescent; Motor Activity; Physical Education and Training; Sedentary Lifestyle; Health Behavior; Socioeconomic Factors.

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