Sociodemographic inequalities in leisure-time physical activity and active commuting to school in Brazilian adolescents: National School Health Survey (PeNSE 2009, 2012, and 2015)

Rodrigo Wiltgen Ferreira Andrea Ramirez Varela Luciana Zaranza Monteiro César Augusto Häfele Simone José dos Santos Andrea Wendt Inácio Crochemore Mohnsam Silva About the authors

The objective of this study was to identify inequalities in leisure-time physical activity and active commuting to school in Brazilian adolescents, as well as trends according to gender, type of school, maternal schooling, and geographic region, from 2009 to 2015. This was a descriptive study based on data from the Brazilian National School Health Survey (PeNSE) in 2009, 2012, and 2015. Students were defined as active in their leisure time when they practiced at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day on five or more of the seven days prior to the interview. Active commuting to school was defined as walking or biking to school on the week prior to the interview. The outcomes were stratified by gender, type of school, maternal schooling, and geographic region. Inequalities were assessed by differences and ratios between the estimates, as well as summary inequality indices. The 2009, 2012, and 2015 surveys included 61,301, 61,145, and 51,192 schoolchildren, respectively. Prevalence of leisure-time physical activity was 13.8% in 2009, 15.9% in 2012, and 14.7% in 2015; the rates for active commuting to school were 70.6%, 61.7%, and 66.7%, respectively. Boys showed 10 percentage points higher prevalence of leisure-time physical activity and 5 points higher active commuting to school than girls. Children of mothers with more schooling showed a mean of 10 percentage points higher prevalence of leisure-time physical activity than children of mothers with the lowest schooling and some 30 percentage points lower in relation to active commuting to school. The observed inequalities remained constant over the course of the period. The study identified socioeconomic and gender inequalities that remained constant throughout the period and which were specific to each domain of physical activity.

Keywords:
Motor Activity; Monitoring; Adolescent


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