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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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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.

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Jorge Mota, Nuno Delgado, Mariana Almeida, José Carlos Ribeiro and Maria Paula Santos

Background:

The purpose of this study was 1) to compare physical activity levels according to body-mass index; 2) to determine which, if any, neighborhood perceived attributes were related to overweight.

Methods:

The sample comprised 610 girls age 14.7 ± 1.6 y. Girls were grouped into normal weight and overweight. Environmental variables and physical activity were assessed by questionnaire.

Results:

No significant differences were found in physical activity levels between normal weight and overweight girls. Logistic regression analysis revealed that girls who agreed that “there is so much traffic on the streets that it makes it unpleasant to walk in the neighborhood” were more likely to be overweight (OR = 1.78; 95% CI 1.10 to 2.89).

Conclusion:

The study found no relationship between perceptions of the environment and overweight among Portuguese girls, except for perceptions of security for walking in the neighborhood.

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

The goal of this study was to validate an adapted version of the “weekly checklist” in a Portuguese population. The validity was assessed by comparing self-reports against the Computer Science and Application, Inc (CSA) monitor. The sample comprised 109 children (boys, n = 42; girls, n = 67), aged 8 to 16 years old. All subjects were volunteers from local schools (Oporto region). The weekly activity checklist was modestly (r = 0.30) but significantly (p < .01) correlated with the CSA. Girls (r = 40; p < .01) had higher correlations than boys (0.28; p < .05). When the values were analyzed by age, excluding the young subjects (<10 years old), the correlation values were slightly higher (r = 0.38; p < .01). The Portuguese version of the “weekly activity checklist” had similar reliability and validity as the original version. The measure appears to have lower validity in 8- and 9-year-old children.

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Luisa Aires, Pedro Silva, Gustavo Silva, Maria Paula Santos, José Carlos Ribeiro and Jorge Mota

Background:

The purpose of this study was to analyze the relation between body mass index (BMI), Cardiorespiratory Fitness (CRF), and levels of physical activity (PA) from sedentary to very vigorous intensities, measured by accelerometry, in students from a middle and high school.

Methods:

This cross-sectional study included 111 children and adolescents, age 11 to 18 years. PA was assessed with an accelerometer for 7 consecutive days (1 minute epoch) using specific cut-points. PA components were derived using special written software (MAHUffe). CRF was assessed by maximal multistage 20m shuttle run. T-test was used to test differences between BMI groups, Pearson’s correlation, to analyze correlations between all variables and multinomial logistic regression, and to predict the value of BMI categories.

Results:

This paper provides evidence that BMI was inversely and significantly correlated with CRF. Only CRF was correlated with Vigorous and Very Vigorous PA levels and total amount of PA. Children with Overweight/Obesity were less likely to perform more laps than normal weight counterparts. The total amount or intensity level of PA did not show any influence on BMI level.

Conclusions:

Low CRF is strongly associated with obesity, which highlights the importance of increasing CRF for a protective effect even in youth. No associations were found for PA and BMI.