Age and sex differences in physical activity of Portuguese adolescents.

Faculty of Sports, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.
Medicine &amp Science in Sports &amp Exercise (Impact Factor: 4.46). 02/2008; 40(1):65-70. DOI: 10.1249/mss.0b013e3181593e18
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study sought to examine sex- and age-associated variations in physical activity (PA) among Portuguese adolescents aged 10-18 yr.
A total of 12,577 males and females at the primary or secondary education level were sampled across four regions of Portugal. PA was assessed by a questionnaire, producing four different indexes: work/school (WSI), sport (SI), leisure time (LI), and total physical activity index (PAI). We examined sex and age differences by using two-way analysis of variance.
Males had higher mean values of PA than did females. In both sexes, mean values for all four PA indexes increased from ages 10 to 16 yr. After age 16, females decreased their mean values, whereas males continued to increase their values (except for LI). In both sexes, the average annual rate of change for the mean values of all four PA indexes correspond to three sensitive age periods (10-13, 13-16, and 16-18 yr). Until age 16, average mean changes for females ranged from +0.7 to +1.6% per year, except for SI in the youngest group (a modest decrease). For males under 16 yr, the pattern was similar, with increases ranging from 0.4 to 1.9% per year. After age 16, females experienced decreases of 1-2.1% per year for the four PA indexes, whereas males showed an increase for three indexes and an average decrease of 1.3% per year for LI.
These results suggest that it is important to consider sex differences in PA levels among Portuguese adolescents. Unlike their male counterparts, Portuguese females may reduce much of their PA during late adolescence.

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    ABSTRACT: Objective Many young people do not practise enough physical activity (PA) to benefit their health. The three-cohort study aimed to investigate the prevalence of PA and understand the trends between 2002 and 2010, using a representative sample of Portuguese adolescents. Design, setting and participants The participants were 8483 adolescents (4067 boys, 4416 girls) who participated in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Portuguese survey in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Design, setting and participants A questionnaire was used to collect data of PA. Analyses were run separately for boys and girls. Results Boys aged 15–17 reported practising 3.5±1.9 times a week in 2002, 3.9±1.9 times a week in 2006 and 3.8±1.9 times a week in 2010, with a significant increase from 2002 to 2006/2010 (p<0.05). PA practice during the past 7 days decreased from 4.2±2.1 to 3.9+1.9 between 2002 and 2006 (p<0.001) and also decreased from 4.4±2.1 to 3.8±1.9 between 2006 and 2010 (p<0.001). Among girls, PA practices during the past 7 days declined significantly from 3.5±1.9 to 2.7±1.7 between 2002 and 2006 (p<0.001), and from 3.3±1.9 to 2.9±1.7 between 2006 and 2010 (p<0.001). Conclusions The study points to age as a factor related to diminished PA participation. The study also revealed that the prevalence of PA has decreased over the years for the same age groups.
    BMJ Open 10/2014; 4(e006012). · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    Dataset: JSS 2011
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    Journal of Human Sport and Exercise 07/2014; 9(1):81-90.


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May 21, 2014