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Original articles  EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2008 Settembre;48(3):380-7

lingua: Inglese

How many children and adolescents in Spain comply with the recommendations on physical activity?

Roman B. 1, Serra-Majem L. 1, 2, Ribas-BARBA L. 1, Pérez-Rodrigo C. 3, Aranceta J. 3

1 Community Nutrition Research Centre Scientific Park of the University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
2 Department of Clinical Sciences University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain
3 Community Nutrition Unit Ayuntamiento de Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain


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Aim. Physical inactivity is likely one of the main causes of obesity and other chronic diseases. This study shows descriptive data on physical activity and compliance with the health enhancing physical activity recommendations for children and adolescents and the determining factors among the Spanish population.
Methods. The population of the study was enrolled for the enKid study, a cross-sectional study carried out on a representative sample of Spanish children, adolescents and youth to evaluate nutritional status and food intake. A subsample of the enKid study including individuals from 6 to 18 years was evaluated for compliance with the recommendation for health enhancing physical activity.
Results. The results showed that only 48% of individuals from 6 to 18 years did at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Forty nine percent of girls and 37% of boys did not practice any sports during their leisure time. The percentage of active people diminishes as they get older, especially with reference to girls. Social status and mother’s educational level act positively on the level of physical activity of the population.
Conclusion. Exercise is not a widespread leisure time activity in Spanish children and youth and few individuals did enough exercise for health promotion. Public health campaigns should take into account socio-economic variables and improve the access to sports facilities.

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