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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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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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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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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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Kurusart Konharn, Maria Paula Santos and José Carlos Ribeiro

Background:

The impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on objective measures of physical activity (PA) in adolescence is poorly understood. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the association between SES and objectively measured PA in Thai adolescents.

Methods:

PA was objectively measured every 30 seconds for 7 consecutive days using ActiGraph GT1M uniaxial accelerometers in 177 secondary-school adolescents aged 13 to 18 years that were classified into 3 SES groups (low, middle, and high). The associations between SES and adolescents’ PA were examined using 1-way ANOVA with multiple comparisons and Chi-square test.

Results:

Adolescents of low-SES accumulated more minutes of PA and less of sedentary behavior than those of high-SES, Additionally, low-SES adolescents tended to meet the daily PA guidelines more than other groups, particularly in girls (P < .01).

Conclusions:

This study evidences an inverse relationship between SES and PA levels, and shows the importance of targeting high SES adolescents in intervention programs to enhance health behaviors. Based on these findings, we also suggest that SES must be considered as an important determinant in promoting regular PA and in increasing proportions of adolescents meeting current health-related PA guidelines.

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

Specific behavior context such as type of PA (organized vs. nonorganized) might be associated with different environmental correlates. The main goal of this cross-sectional survey was to examine perceived environmental associations with type of adolescents’ physical activity (PA) choices (organized and nonorganized). A sample of this study comprised 425 girls with mean age of 14.5 years-old. Environmental variables and PA were assessed by questionnaire, which allowed to define the type (organized or nonorganized) of PA. No associations were found between environmental perceptions and the participation in organized activities. However, different dimensions of environmental variables such as accessibilities to facilities (p ≤ .05) aesthetics (p ≤ .05) and social environment (p ≤ .05) were associated to girls’ PA participation in nonorganized activities (NOPA). Our findings suggested that some environmental characteristics might play an important role in girls’ NOPA participation.

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Luisa Aires, Michael Pratt, Felipe Lobelo, Rute Marina Santos, Maria Paula Santos and Jorge Mota

Background:

The objective of this study was to analyze associations of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) with physical activity, time spent watching television and using computer, mode of commuting to school (CS), and adiposity, by gender.

Methods:

Participants were 1708 students (53.8% girls), aged 11 to 19 years. CRF was evaluated with a 20-meter shuttle-run test using VO2max by previously published equation. Maturation stages determined by Tanner’s criteria, body mass index, and skinfolds were measured, and a questionnaire used to assess socioeconomic status, PA, television and computer time, and mode of CS. We conducted a regression analysis using CRF as the dependent variable.

Results:

CRF was independent and positively associated with physical activity [β = 0.338 (95% CI = 0.119; 0.188); P < .001] and with maturation [β = −0.876 (95% CI = 0.666; 1.087); P < .001]; independent and negatively associated with television time [β = −0.003 (95% CI = −0.005; −0.002); P < .001] and adiposity [β = −0.068 (95% CI = −0.076; −0.060); P < .001]. CRF was positively associated with CS [β = 0.337; (95% CI = 0.014; 0.741); P = .014]. No associations were found for computer time.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that increasing overall physical activity levels through interventions in different domains such as active CS, reducing sedentary activities, such as television time, might be effective strategies for improving CRF in youth.

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Clarice Martins, Ismael Freitas Jr., Andréia Pizarro, Luísa Aires, Gustavo Silva, Maria Paula Santos and Jorge Mota

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most frequent complications associated with excess adiposity. Its pathogenesis is complex and there are multiple factors that may contribute to it. AIM: To analyze whether cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), waist circumference (WC), and C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in children with obesity. METHODS: 79 overweight/obese children of both genders, 11–13 year-olds, with abnormal serum ALT from Porto public schools comprised the sample. Measurements included CRF (20-m Shuttle Run Test), WC (NHANES protocol), CRP and ALT (Cholestech LDX analyzer). Logistic regression adjusted for gender, maturation, and weight with ALT levels as dependent variable (risk vs. non risk), and WC (risk vs. non risk), CRP (risk vs. non risk), and CRF (fit vs. unfit) as independent variables. Level of significance was set at 95%. RESULTS: Logistic regression showed that obese fit children were less likely to have abnormal ALT values (OR=.031) CONCLUSION: In obese children, higher cardiovascular fitness appears to reduce the chance of decreased liver function.