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J Adolesc Health. 2008 Apr;42(4):360-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.09.025. Epub 2008 Jan 31.

Correlates of physical activity guideline compliance for adolescents in 100 U.S. Cities.

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  • 1Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA.



This study assessed the rates and correlates of adolescents' compliance with national guidelines for physical activity.


A cross-sectional phone survey of adolescents and their parents was conducted in the 100 largest cities in the United States in 2005. Adolescents ages 14-17 years (n = 6125) were asked how many days during the previous week and during a typical week they were physically active for at least 60 minutes. Compliance was defined as 5+ days per week. Parents provided data on teen's age and race/ethnicity, parental education level, annual household income, and region of residence. Associations among these variables and compliance with physical activity guidelines were examined.


Approximately 40% of the females and 57% of the males complied with the national physical activity guidelines. Logistic regression indicated that for both genders, compliance was significantly associated with having higher household income and that, for females only, compliance declined significantly with age. Region of residence did not predict compliance for either gender.


A majority of the girls and a large portion of the boys failed to meet the current guidelines, thereby increasing their risks of multiple health problems. Targeting intervention resources for low income teens and older adolescent teen girls is recommended.

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