Differences in the physical activity pattern between Portuguese and Spanish adolescents

Archives of Exercise in Health and Disease 01/2010; 1.
Source: DOAJ


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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