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Kelly R. Evenson and Jorge Mota

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Maria Paula Santos, Carlos Esculcas and Jorge Mota

The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between adolescents’ choices regarding physical activity—both organized and nonorganized—and their parents’ socioeconomic status (occupation and education level) and to characterize those differences. The sample comprised 594 adolescents (304 girls and 290 boys) between 13 and 20 years old (mean age of 15.9). Physical activity was assessed by questionnaire and was classified as organized or nonorganized. The findings showed that adolescents from families of higher socioeconomic status chose significantly more organized activities, whereas, for those choosing nonorganized activities, only mothers’ education was statistically significant. Participants who engaged in organized physical activity reported more moderate-intensity, moderate-frequency team activities, whereas adolescents’ in nonorganized physical activities reported more low-intensity, moderate-frequency individual activities.

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Maria Paula Santos, Margarida Matos and Jorge Mota

This study aimed to describe seasonal variations in Portuguese adolescents’ physical activity, in organized and nonorganized physical activities, according to gender and age group. Data from the Portuguese second wave of the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study was used. The sample comprised 6,131 public school students ages 10 to 17 years (age = 14.0 ± 1.85 years old), and 51% were girls. Physical activity was measured by questionnaire and participants were categorized as “active” or “low active” according to their reported weekly participation in physical activity sessions. Participation in organized and nonorganized physical activities of all age groups was more frequent during the spring and summer period. Results suggest that appropriate strategies should be developed to promote involvement in sports and other physical activity, particularly organized physical activity programs, among adolescents throughout the year.

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Jorge Mota, José Ribeiro, Maria Paula Santos and Helena Gomes

This study aimed to examine the relationship between obesity status (body mass index: BMI) and physical and sedentary activities in adolescents. The sample comprised 230 girls and 220 boys (14.6 years old, SD = 1.6). Physical Activity (PA) was assessed by a questionnaire. Sedentary behaviors, such as TV viewing, computer use, and commuting to and from school were analyzed. Participants were categorized as nonobese or overweight/obese according to age-adapted BMI. No significant differences were found in relation to PA characteristics or in TV watching on weekdays vs. weekends. Nonobese participants spent significantly less time using computers on weekends (p = .04) and weekdays (p = .025) than their overweight/obese counterparts. Logistic regression analysis showed that those who used computers on weekdays more than 4 hrs per day were likely (odds ratio: 5.79; p < .003) to be overweight or obese. This study identified a relationship between computer use, but not physical activity or TV viewing, and weight status among Portuguese adolescents.

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Rute Santos, Maria Paula Santos, José Carlos Ribeiro and Jorge Mota

Background:

The aims of this study were to describe physical activity (PA) prevalence and compare it with other countries and to investigate possible associations between PA and other lifestyle behaviors in Azorean adults.

Methods:

9991 adults (5723 women), aged 37.8 ± 9.5 years, of the 2004 Azorean Physical Activity and Health Study. IPAQ assessed PA. All other lifestyle behaviors (age, gender, education level, income, employment, marital status, number of children, meal frequency, sleep time, sitting time, body mass index and alcohol and tobacco consumptions) were also self-reported.

Results:

57.1% of the participants met current PA recommendations and 32.2% were categorized as Health Enhancing PA (HEPA). Women were less likely to achieve PA recommendations, as well as the HEPA level. In both genders, higher education level, employment status, higher income, and sitting for more than 3h/day were negative predictors of HEPA; and, having at least 5 meals/day was positive predictor for the same PA level.

Conclusions:

There is a significant proportion of Azoreans, particularly women, that does not do enough PA. Targeted programs for Azoreans aimed to increase PA levels should pay special attention on women, and consider a multifactorial approach, once several lifestyle behaviors seem to interact with PA levels, in this population.

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Pedro Silva, Ryan Lott, Jorge Mota and Greg Welk

Social support (SS) from parents and peers are key reinforcing factors in the Youth Physical Activity Promotion (YPAP) model. This study aims to identify the relative contribution of parental and peer SS on youth participation in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Participants included 203 high school students (n = 125 girls; mean age 14.99 ± 1.55 years). MVPA was assessed by accelerometry. SS influences were evaluated using a well-established scale. Structural equation modeling measured (AMOS, Version 19) the relative fit of the YPAP models using both parental and peer SS. Parental SS had significant associations with both predisposing factors, enjoyment (β = .62, p < .01), and self-efficacy (β= .32, p < .01), as well a direct effect on MVPA (β = .30, p < .01). Peer SS had direct effect on MVPA (β = .33, p < .05), also significantly influenced levels of enjoyment (β = .47, p < .01) and self-efficacy (β = .67, p < .01). In both models self-efficacy mediated the influence on MVPA. The direct effects for parents and peers were similar. This demonstrates that both parental and peer social support exert a strong influence on adolescent MVPA.

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Elisa Marques, Joana Carvalho, Andreia Pizarro, Flávia Wanderlay and Jorge Mota

We examined the relationship among objective measures of body composition, lower extremity strength, physical activity, and walking performance and determined whether this interaction differed according to walking ability. Participants were 126 adults ages 60–91 yr. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that the 30-s chair stand test (30sCST), appendicular lean mass index (aLMI), body mass index, and age were independent contributors to walking performance, explaining 44.3% of the variance. For slower walkers, appendicular fat mass index (aFMI), moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), 30sCST, and aLMI (r 2 = .49, p < .001) largely explained variance in walking performance. For faster walkers, aFMI and aLMI explained 31.4% (p < .001) of the variance. These data suggest that both fat and lean mass are associated with walking performance in higher- and lower-functioning older adults, whereas MPVA and muscle strength influence walking ability only among lower-functioning older adults.

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Jorge Mota, José Carlos Ribeiro, Joana Carvalho and Maria Paula Santos

Background:

The aim of this study is to investigate the associations between active transport (AT), nonorganized out of school physical activity (NOPA) and organized out of school PA (OPA) with BMI in Portuguese adolescents.

Methods:

The sample comprised 1121 adolescents age 13 to 17 years-old, which were assigned to 1 of 4 PA groups according to the sum of participation in different physical activity behaviors outside of school [AT, OPA, and NOPA].

Results:

In boys but not in girls, BMI was lower as the participation in more PA behaviors outside school increased. For those who only carry out 1 PA behavior, AT was the most common behavior (boys = 48.9%; girls = 55.1%). On the other hand, NOPA was the most common behavior for those engaged in 2 types of PA (girls = 51.6%; boys = 46%). For those that carried out all the PA behaviors outside school OPA was the most common choice in both girls (59.5%) and boys (54%). AT, NOPA and OPA are different sources of PA outside school that accrued in different ways to the increased level of PA.

Conclusions:

In boys but not in girls, BMI was lower as the participation in more PA behaviors outside school increased.

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Jorge Mota, Maria Paula Santos and José Carlos Ribeiro

Background:

The main goals of this study were: (1) to examine the relationship between physical activity (PA) involvement and other leisure activities in a sample of Portuguese youth and (2) to analyze gender differences in PA and leisure-time activity structure.

Methods:

The sample comprised 1123 adolescents that were classified according to PA levels as active (n = 589) and nonactive (n = 534). A questionnaire assessing leisure-time activities was used.

Results:

Girls were significantly more engaged in social leisure, dutiful, and individual artistic activities during leisure time, whereas boys were more involved in sports and computer and TV viewing activities. Significant associations between PA and social leisure were found in girls (r = .18, P ≤ .001) and boys (r = .13, P ≤ .01) after adjustment for age. The same was found between level of PA and sports engagement during leisure (girls: r = .56, P ≤ .001; boys: r = .51, P ≤ .001). In girls (r = .10, P ≤ .05), but not in boys, a statistically significant association was found between PA and individual artistic activities.

Conclusions:

This study has certain implications for health-related PA promotion efforts. Our data give additional reinforcement to the importance of organized and nonorganized sports/PA during leisure time for overall levels of PA in adolescents.

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Jorge Mota, Paula Santos, Sandra Guerra, José C. Ribeiro and José A. Duarte

The purpose of this study was to compare the daily activity levels of children varying in body mass over 3 consecutive weekdays. The sample was comprised of 157 children (boys, n = 64; girls, n = 93), aged 8–15 years. BMI was used as obesity indicator. Children were categorized as non-obese and over- weight/obese group, according to the age-adapted values. The CSA activity monitor was used as an objective measure of daily physical activity. No significant differences were reported in the daily physical activity among boys and girls according to BMI group. Boys were significantly more engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activities (p = .05) than girls. Significant differences in moderate-to-vigorous physical activities (p = .05) were found between non-obese (69.3 min • day−1) and obese girls (50.7 min • day−1), while no significant differences were reported in boys. Differences between overall activities and involvement in MVPA emerged between overweight/obese and non-obese girls; therefore, obesity in girls may be linked to low levels of physical activity behavior.