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17.11.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2017

European Journal of Pediatrics 1/2017

Assessment of physical activity levels, fitness and perceived barriers to physical activity practice in adolescents: cross-sectional study

Zeitschrift:
European Journal of Pediatrics > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
Isabel Fernández, Olga Canet, Maria Giné-Garriga
Wichtige Hinweise
Communicated by Mario Bianchetti

Abstract

Adolescence is a time of rapid physical, psychological and social changes. Recent studies show that, at this stage, there is a decrease in physical activity (PA) levels, along with high rates of overweight and obesity. The purpose of this study was to assess PA levels and physical condition (PC) related to perceived barriers (PB) and limiting factors for PA practice in a randomised sample of adolescents in Barcelona (Spain) considering overweight status and gender. One hundred and forty-three adolescents (53.8 % boys; median age of 15 years) of Secondary Education in public schools located in a randomly selected district (Sants – Montjuïc) in Barcelona (Spain) participated in a cross-sectional study. Variables assessed were (a) PC (ALPHA-Fitness), (b) PA levels (Physical Activity Questionnaire PAQ-A), and (c) perceived barriers (Self-Reported Barriers to Participation in Physical Activity questionnaire). The different variables were tested by calculating means and standard deviations, with the presence/absence of overweight, and according to the adolescents’ gender. Means between groups were compared using Student’s t test.
Conclusion: Significant differences in most results suggest a correlation between being overweight or obese and having a worse PC. The variables gender (being a girl) and body mass index (overweight or obese) showed a direct correlation to perceive significantly greater barriers to PA practice.
What is known:
Epidemiological studies indicate that there is a high prevalence of overweight and obesity linked to an insufficient amount of physical activity (PA) practice in children and adolescents, which is accompanied higher rates of abandonment of the common PA practice as they grow up.
Perceived barriers to regular PA practice had increased in the adolescent population, accompanied with lower levels of PA practice.
What is new:
This study shows for the first time the correlation between physical condition, PA levels, and perceived barriers to regular PA, considering overweight and gender.
There is a correlation between being overweight or obese and having a worse physical condition. The variables gender (being a girl) and body mass index (overweight or obese) showed a direct correlation to perceive significantly greater barriers to PA practice.

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