Regional Socioeconomic Inequalities in Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Among Brazilian Adolescents

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: This study aims to describe the regional prevalence and patterns of physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior among Brazilian adolescents. Methods: Data from the Brazilian Scholar Health Survey, a nationally representative survey of ninth-grade adolescents [mean age: 14.29 y (14.27–14.29)] conducted in 2015 (n = 101,445), were used. Outcomes were television viewing, sitting time (ST), total PA, and active traveling collected via self-administered questionnaire. Information on frequency of physical education classes and type of school was collected from the school’s director. Frequencies with 95% confidence intervals were used to determine the prevalence and patterns of outcomes. Results: Higher prevalence of PA (≥300 min/wk) and ST (>4 h/d) was found in Midwest (PA = 38.0%; ST = 44.5%), South (PA = 37.6%; ST = 50.1%), and Southeast (PA = 36.1%; ST = 49.3%) compared with Northeast (PA = 29.7%; ST = 36.9%) and North (PA = 34.4%; ST = 34.8%) regions of Brazil. ST was higher among adolescents from private schools (51.5%) than public schools (42.9%), whereas active traveling was greater among students of public schools than private schools (62.0% vs 34.4%). Most inequalities in outcomes between capital and interior cities were in the poorest regions. Conclusions: The results indicate that national plans targeting regional inequalities are needed to improve PA and to reduce sedentary behavior among Brazilian adolescents.

Werneck, Romanzini, Ronque, and Cyrino are with the Study and Research Group in Metabolism, Nutrition, and Exercise–GEPEMENE, State University of Londrina–UEL, Londrina, Brazil. Oyeyemi is with the Dept of Physiotherapy, College of Medical Sciences, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno, Nigeria. Fernandes is with the Scientific Research Group Related to Physical Activity (GICRAF), Laboratory of InVestigation in Exercise (LIVE), Dept of Physical Education, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Presidente Prudente, Brazil. Sardinha is with the Exercise and Health Laboratory, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, CIPER–Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal. Silva is with the Dept of Physical Education, Federal University of Sergipe–UFS, São Cristóvão, Brazil.

Werneck (andreowerneck@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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