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Alexander Vigo-Valentín, Kimberly A. Bush and Samuel R. Hodge

Background:

There is limited evidence on physical activity patterns among Hispanic adolescents in Puerto Rico. This restricts opportunities to implement effective interventions and policies to increase physical activity in schools. The purpose of this study was to examine the physical activity behaviors of adolescents attending middle and high schools in Puerto Rico based on a compendium of moderate to vigorous physical activities including walking, jogging or running, bicycling, sports and more. A secondary purpose was to examine group differences as a function of gender and school level.

Method:

A cross-sectional survey research design was used. Students (N = 637) attending public middle and high schools completed a Visual 7-Day Physical Activity Recall survey. Both descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted to describe the sample and to determine group differences.

Results:

Puerto Rican adolescents’ levels of physical activity decreased throughout the week. Only a small proportion of them reached at least 60 minutes everyday of the week. Differences were found between middle and high school students’ daily and weekly participation in physical activities.

Conclusions:

Most adolescents do not engage in sufficient physical activity.

Implications:

Implications of the results are discussed and recommendations are articulated for policy makers, educators, and other professionals.