CHAPTER NUMBER 32
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M.J. Coelho-e-Silva1, I. Rego1, J.P. Rodrigues1, E.S. Cyrino2, and A.M. Machado-
Rodrigues1 1University of Coimbra, Portugal; 2 Londrina State University, Brazil
Adolescence is characterized by an increasing amount of sedentary behaviours and acquisition of unhealthy dietary behaviours, all of which increase the risk of obesity. The need to promote regular involvement in physical activity (PA) in young people is recognized by public health authorities throughout the world as an important health-related strategy in part because children and adolescents with overweight and obesity have a higher risk of co-morbidities (Strong et al., 2005). Evidence relating to PA and health emphasizes that adolescents should spend at least 60 min in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) each day, to promote a broad range of health improvements (Strong et al., 2005). However, data derived from objective measurements of PA such as accelerometry in adolescents to determine the prevalence reaching that PA guideline varies across countries and also within a specific country. Given that the youth from Southern European countries have the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity in Europe (Sardinha et al., 2010) and the apparent decline of physical activity and the high level of sedentariness among adolescents still require complementary research in different cultural contexts, the main purpose of this study was to assess the proportion of adolescents in a Midlands Portuguese sample that met the guidelines of 60 min of MVPA on week days and at the weekend.