Biological and socio-cultural determinants of physical activity in adolescents

André F. Seabra Denisa M. Mendonça Martine A. Thomis Luiz A. Anjos José A. Maia About the authors

Physical activity is important for health promotion and disease prevention. Effective physical activity programs for adolescents require a proper understanding of the determinants of activity levels. The main purpose of this paper was to review the scientific literature on determinants of physical activity among adolescents: demographic, biological (age, gender, socioeconomic status), and socio-cultural (family, peers, and physical education teachers). The review included only studies with large samples (> 100 subjects) and a cross-sectional design, and that used questionnaires to measure physical activity in adolescents (10-18 years). The main results and conclusions were: age is negatively associated with physical activity; boys tend to be more active than girls; higher socioeconomic status is positively associated with more physical activity; adolescents are more involved in physical activity when parents and peers also participate; physical education teachers do not influence the adolescents' level of physical activity.

Motor Activity; Adolescent; Adolescente Behavior


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