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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2004 June;56(3):317-26


language: Italian

Survey of physical activity and doping in a sample of 6915 student aged 14-18 years

Bassoli L., Boncinelli S., Brizzi L., Curci R., Signorelli D., Pazardjiklian I., Pellai A.


Aim. Promoting physical activity is one of the main goals of health-promotion policies. The period of adolescence is characterised by a high rate of abandonment of any physical activity. In this age range, moreover, the risk of assuming substances in order to improve muscular-mass or athletic results is concrete. This study quantifies the involvement in physical activities and substance assumption in a sample of 6915 students aged 14 to 18 years and living in 7 different areas, mostly in northern Italy.
Methods. The survey's tool is an adapted and modified vision of the Youth Risk Behaviour Surveillance questionnaire, created by US Centers for Disase Control and Prevention (CDC).
Results. The study showed a high percentage of the sample not involved in any form of physical activity out of school (33.8%), more among girls (44.1%) than boys (21.2%). Between 14 and 18 years, a continuous reduction of involvement in physical activity is evident, while the percentage of totally physically inactive subjects rises from 30.1% to 43%. Finally, 5.6% in our sample admitted to have been using substances to improve muscular-mass or athletic results at least once in the past.
Conclusion. According to this study, only a minority of the interviewed adolescents is involved in a regular physical activity. In males, using substances to improve physical strength showed to be rather diffused. Specific health promotion projects are suggested.

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