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  • Author: Rute Marina Santos x
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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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André Oliveira, Jorge Mota, Carla Moreira, Susana Vale, Sandra Abreu, Pedro Moreira and Rute Marina Santos

Background:

The aim of the current study was to verify if physical activity (PA) behavior (steps/day) was associated with environmental features that may be able to promote PA and walking in a sample of Portuguese adolescents living in the Azorean Archipelago.

Methods:

The sample comprised 948 adolescents aged 15–18 years (543 girls) from the Azorean Physical Activity Health Study II. PA was objectively measured with pedometers. Participants were classified as active if they belong to percentile 75th (by age and gender) or more. Environmental perceptions were assessed with a questionnaire. Binary logistic regression analyzed relationships between PA and environmental perceptions controlling for age, body mass index, gender and socioeconomic status.

Results:

Regression analysis showed that participants with a positive overall perception in the transportation dimension were 44.2% (OR = 1.442, P = .025) more likely to be classified as active than those with a negative overall perception. No significant results were found for safety, aesthetics and facilities dimensions.

Conclusions:

A positive overall perception of the transportation dimension was positively associated with PA in Azorean Adolescents. Future health promotion strategies aimed to increase PA in this population should consider the environmental features that are associated with PA levels.

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Pedro Silva, Luisa Aires, Rute Marina Santos, Susana Vale, Greg Welk and Jorge Mota

Background:

The purpose of the study is to evaluate age and gender differences in objectively measured levels of physical activity (PA) in a large and diverse sample of residents from an urban area in Porto, Portugal.

Methods:

Participants included 822 residents, 334 males (41%), and 488 females (59%), aged 6 to 90 years. GT1M accelerometer was used to assess daily PA over 7 consecutive days, and the measurement was from October (2007) to June (2008).

Results:

Males were more active than females. This difference was attenuated in the 2 oldest age groups (40−59 and 60+ yrs). An accentuated declined in all PA variables occurred between the youngster group (6−11 yrs) and adolescents group (12−19 yrs). Surprisingly, young adults (20−39 yrs) engaged in more moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) than adolescents. Further, females also had higher MVPA in the fourth group (40−59 yrs) compared with the second group (12−19 yrs). Males had higher compliance rates of PA guidelines than females regardless the age group considered. Adolescents had very low compliance rates (females = 18.18%; males = 33.50%).

Conclusions:

Porto metropolitan area residents had low rates of compliance with current PA guidelines. A low level of PA in Porto adolescents is a matter of concern and suggests that interventions are needed.

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Aristides M. Machado-Rodrigues, Manuel J. Coelho e Silva, Jorge Mota, Rute Marina Santos, Sean P. Cumming and Robert M. Malina

Background:

Sport has high social valence and is a primary context for physical activity for the majority of youth. The aim of this study was to estimate the contribution of participation in organized sport to the total daily energy expenditure and also to its moderate-to-vigorous portion in male adolescents.

Methods:

The sample comprised 165 Portuguese male youth, aged 13 to 16 years. Physical activity was assessed with a multi-method approach (Actigraph GT1M accelerometer plus 3-day diary record). Differences in the intensities of physical activity and sedentary behavior of male sport participants and nonsport participants were compared using independent sample t-test.

Results:

Male participants in organized sports spent significantly more time in moderate-to-vigorous activities than nonparticipants, although the P-value for the 15 to 16 years age-group was marginal (P = .08) on the weekend days. In addition, male adolescents spent 11% to 13% of total daily energy expenditure in organized sports which corresponded to 35% to 42% of the moderate-to-vigorous portion of daily energy expenditure.

Conclusion:

Organized sport appears to be a relevant component of daily activity energy expenditure to promote healthy lifestyles among male adolescents.