A regional vision of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and physical education in adolescents from Latin America and the Caribbean: Results from 26 countries

Nicolas Aguilar-Farias, Pia Martino-Fuentealba, Jaime Carcamo-Oyarzun, Andrea Cortinez-O’Ryan, CARLOS SEBASTIAN CRISTI MONTERO, Astrid Von Oetinger, Kabir P. Sadarangani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) countries, have been historically under-represented due to the lack of surveillance of physical behaviours in young populations. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe and compare overall physical activity (PA), active transportation to and from school (i.e. walking or cycling), physical education (PE) participation, and sedentary behaviour (SB) in adolescents from 26 countries in LAC. Methods: Data were collected in the Global School-based Student Health Survey (2007–13). Prevalences for each physical behaviour were compared by sex across the region. Results: In total, 64 034 adolescents provided complete data (age range: 11 to 18 years; 47.7% male). Only about 15% of adolescents in LAC countries were physically active (at least 60 min/day of moderate-to-vigorous PA) with most countries showing sex disparities. Overall, 41.9% reported being active for transportation to and from school at least 3 days per week. In 12 countries, at least 50% of the adolescents reported sitting 3 h per day outside school, and a third of adolescents reported participation in PE classes on 3 days or more per week. Conclusions: The study sets a challenge for the LAC region, as physical inactivity and SB are highly prevalent across all countries. Gender inequity was shown in most countries, with boys reporting more active behaviours. Regional and national actions for implementing policies to revert this situation are urgent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)976-986
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Active transportation
  • Inequity
  • Physical education provision
  • Physical inactivity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Sitting
  • Surveillance

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