The aim of this study was to assess physical activity (PA) patterns (intensity and prevalence) in children according to demographic, socioeconomic, and familiar characteristics.
In 2010, a cross-sectional study of 239 children aged 4–11 was conducted, in Pelotas, Southern Brazil. PA was measured by accelerometry and classified in different intensities. Insufficient physical activity was defined as less than 60 min/day of moderate-to-vigorous PA. Descriptive analyses of accelerometry-related variables were presented. Multivariate Poisson regression models were used to estimate the association between physical insufficient PA and covariates.
For both sexes, around 65% of the registered time was spent in sedentary activities and less than 20 min/day in vigorous activity. Age and economic status were inversely associated to PA in all categories of PA. Moderate and vigorous activities means were higher in boys than in girls. The prevalence of insufficient PA was 34.5% in girls and 19.5% in boys.
We found important differences in physical activity patterns according to sex and economic status, as well as a significant decline in time spent in moderate-to-vigorous PA with increasing age. Understanding the relationship between these sociodemographic factors is important to tackle low levels of PA.
Bielemann, Cascaes, and Gigante are with the post-graduate program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Reichert is with the Physical Activity Epidemiology Research Group, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Deomingues is with the Sports Dept, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.