We are updating our website on Thursday, December 2 from 9 AM – 5 PM EST. During this time, users may experience some disruptions while using the site. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Temporal Trends in Physical Activity: A Systematic Review

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
View More View Less
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $119.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $159.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $227.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $302.00


In spite of all accumulated scientific knowledge on the benefits of physical activity (PA) for health, high rates of sedentary lifestyle are still observed worldwide. The aim of this study was to systematically review articles on temporal trends of PA and fitness, with emphasis on differences between children/adolescents and adults.


An electronic search at the Medline/PubMed database was carried out using the following combination of keywords: temporal trends or trends or surveillance or monitoring and PA or exercise or physical fitness or motor activity or sedentary or fitness.


By using this strategy, 23,088 manuscripts were detected. After examination, 41 articles fulfilled all inclusion criteria, and were, therefore, included. The data currently available in the literature for adults shows that leisure-time activity levels tend to be increasing over time, while occupational-related PA is decreasing over time. Youth PA seems to be decreasing over time, including a lower level of activity in physical education classes. As a consequence, fitness levels are also declining.


PA surveillance must be strongly encouraged in all settings and age groups. Special attention must be paid to low and middle-income countries, where PA surveillance is virtually inexistent.

The authors are with the post-graduate program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 3147 1980 149
Full Text Views 84 31 0
PDF Downloads 106 41 0