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Motriz: Revista de Educação Física

On-line version ISSN 1980-6574


SANTOS, Fernanda Karina dos et al. A cross-cultural study of physical activity and sedentariness in youth from Mozambique and Portugal. Motriz: rev. educ. fis. [online]. 2017, vol.23, n.spe2, e101787.  Epub Dec 04, 2017. ISSN 1980-6574.


The purpose of this study was to analyse the effects of age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and country of origin (Mozambique versus Portugal) on physical activity and sedentariness.


Sample size was comprised of 593 adolescents from Mozambique (n=258) and Portugal (n=335), aged 10-15 years old. Height and weight were measured, and BMI was computed; furthermore, subjects were classified in two groups (normal weight and overweight/obese). The mean time (min/day) spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), light physical activity (LPA), and sedentary activity were assessed using the GT3X Actigraph accelerometer over at least 4 days (1 weekend day) with a minimum of 10 hours/day of monitoring. Multiple regression analysis was done in SPSS 20.


A low percentage of Mozambican (3.9%) and Portuguese (4.3%) youth complied with the MVPA recommendations (60min·day-1). However, Portuguese boys spend more time in MVPA. Girls and those with higher BMI spend more time in sedentary activities and less time in MVPA and LPA; older adolescents spend more time in sedentary activities and less time in LPA. There is a significant effect of the country of origin on MVPA, favouring Portuguese youth.


Results suggest country differences in MVPA between Mozambican and Portuguese youth - the Mozambicans are less involved in MVPA than the Portuguese, probably reinforcing the undesirable effect of the urbanization process in developing nations.

Keywords : physical activity; sedentariness; youth; cross-cultural.

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