Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte
Print version ISSN 1517-8692
SOUZA, Gustavo de Sá e and DUARTE, Maria de Fátima da Silva. Behavior change stages related to physical activity in adolescents. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2005, vol.11, n.2, pp. 104-108. ISSN 1517-8692. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922005000200002.
Studies related to behavior in relation to the practice of physical exercises have attracted the attention of many researchers. However, there is still a lack of investigations on this topic especially among adolescents. The objective of this descriptive-analytical type research was to classify the practice of physical exercise according to the Behavior Change Stages (BCS) theory, according to gender, grade and socioeconomic level. The subjects were high-school adolescents from the city of Recife-PE with average age of 16.2 ± 1.1 (14 to 19 years of age) selected by conglomerate sampling totalizing 2,271 students (1,022 boys and 1,249 girls) from 29 private schools. Social-demographic and BCS characteristics were surveyed by means of the application of a self-report questionnaire. The analysis of data were conducted using the descriptive statistics, the chi-squared test, the Spearman correlation and the Mann-Whitney U test (p < 0.05). The students presented the following characteristics: 66.3% belonged to economical classes A1 and A2, what evidenced the high purchasing power of the sample. In the group studied, 61.6% of the adolescents were classified as inactive or irregularly active and 26.2% were classified as inactive (precontemplative and contemplative), and in the analysis by gender, boys were physically more active than girls according to grouped BCS. A decline on the practice of physical activities with the grade advance was also verified. The creation of interventions in schools of the region with the objective of encouraging the practice of physical activities is suggested, especially among girls, that contemplate the option selected by the students, and structural reformulations to suit schedule/activity as effective ways to change the behavior in relation to physical activities.
Keywords : Schoolgirls; Schoolboys; Change stages; Behavior.