Correlates of Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity in Brazilian Children

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Few studies have used ecological models to study multiple levels of association with objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in young children from middle-income countries. The purpose of this study was to examine potential correlates of objectively measured MVPA in Brazilian children.


The sample consisted of 328 children. An Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometer was used to monitor MVPA over 7 days. Body mass index and body fat percentage were measured using a bioelectrical impedance scale. Questionnaires completed by the children, their parents, and school personnel queried individual, family and home, and school-level environmental correlates.


Children averaged 59.3 min/d in MVPA (44.5% met MVPA guidelines), and 51.8% were overweight/obese. For boys and girls combined, significant correlates (P < .05) of MVPA were waist circumference (β = –.007), travel mode to school (β = .140), maternal employment status (β = –.119) and TV in bedroom (β –.107). In boys, significant correlates of MVPA were waist circumference (β = –.011), travel mode to school (β = .133), and maternal employment status (β = –.195). In girls, the only significant correlate of MVPA was travel mode to school (β = .143).


Several factors were identified as correlates of MVPA in Brazilian children; however, only travel mode to school was common for both boys and girls.

Ferrari and Matsudo are with the Centro de Estudos do Laboratório de Aptidão Física de São Caetano do Sul (CELAFISCS), São Caetano do Sul, Brazil. Ferrari and Fisberg are with the Centro de Atendimento e Apoio ao Adolescente do Departamento de Pediatria da Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo, Brazil. Barreira and Katzmarzyk are with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA. Barreira is also with Syracuse University. Tudor-Locke is with the Dept of Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA.

Ferrari ( is corresponding author.