Article

Differences in the physical activity pattern between Portuguese and Spanish adolescents

Archives of Exercise in Health and Disease 01/2010;
Source: DOAJ

ABSTRACT Objectives: Physical activity (PA) occurs in a variety of contexts, and there is a need to understand the biocultural determinants of the active or inactive lifestyle. The aim of this study is to compare the PA patterns of adolescents living in two different countries from south Europe, exploring gender differences. Design: Five public schools entered the study: two in Porto (Portugal) and three in Huesca (Spain). There were 105 students (57% girls) from Porto aged 14.56±1.50 and 95 students (40% girls) from Huesca aged 13.66±1.15. PA was assessed with accelerometers over 7 consecutive days. The linear regression model was used to study the influence of the following factors: age, location, gender, and body mass index on the adolescents’ moderate-to-vigorous PA amount on weekdays and weekend days. Results: Linear regression analysis reported that when controlling for age and BMI, city (Porto or Huesca) was considered a significant predictor (p<0.001) of the MVPA amount on weekend days and in the number of days the students complied with the PA guidelines (60 minutes of moderate-to- vigorous PA (MVPA) daily). Huesca adolescents had superior values of MVPA and consequently a higher rate of compliance to the PA guidelines. Gender differences in MVPA were more notable in the Spanish adolescents. Conclusions: The location of the adolescents’ residence was found to influence the achievement of PA guidelines. These differences were more marked on weekends.

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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The goals of this study were (1) to describe and compare levels of physical activity (PA), assessed by accelerometry, of adolescents in two close Spanish and French cities according to gender and period of the week and (2) to assess, with reference to country and gender, the extent to which international PA guidelines were fulfilled. The PA of 401 adolescents (53.37% females) from France and Spain (55.72% French) aged 14.45±0.67 years was assessed with GT3X accelerometers for seven consecutive days to evaluate their habitual levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Data collection took place from September to December 2010 in six public and state schools in France and Spain. There were significant differences in MVPA in terms of country, gender and period of the week. Spanish adolescents were more active than French adolescents, boys were more active than girls and MVPA was higher on weekdays than at weekends. French girls showed the lowest level of PA. Only 35.9% of the whole sample met the guidelines for PA in both countries. Governments of relevant countries, especially France, should adopt PA promotion policies targeted at adolescents in order to enhance their compliance with PA guidelines.
    European journal of sport science. 09/2013; 13(5):551-8.

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