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Arq Bras Cardiol. 2008 Aug;91(2):84-91.

Excess weight, arterial pressure and physical activity in commuting to school: correlations.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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  • 1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação Física, Centro de Desporto, Florianópolis, SC - Brasil.



The prevalence of obesity and elevated arterial pressure (AP) has increased in children and adolescents, whereas physical activity has decreased.


To identify and correlate excess weight, body fat and elevated AP among active and passive students with the way they commute to school.


One thousand five hundred and seventy students aged 7 to 12 years participated in the study conducted in João Pessoa, state of Paraíba. Students completed a questionnaire about the way they commuted to school (active = walking/biking or passive = by car/motorcycle/bus) and the time spent traveling to school. Excess weight was determined by BMI > or =25 kg/m(2), excess body fat as > or =85th percentile for tricipital fold measurement, and high AP as > or =90th percentile. Chi-square test and Poisson's regression were used for the analysis.


Active commuting was associated with a lower prevalence of excess weight and body fat as compared to passive commuting (p<0.05). The prevalence ratio (PR) of excess weight was associated with excess body fat (Male: PR= 6.45 95%CI= 4.55-9.14; Female: PR= 4.10 95%CI= 3.09-5.45), elevated SAP [Systolic Arterial Pressure] (Male: PR= 1.99 95%CI= 1.30-3.06; Female: PR= 2.09 95%CI= 1.45-3.01), and elevated DAP [Diastolic Arterial Pressure] in girls (PR = 1.96 95%CI= 1.41-2.75). No association with active commuting was observed (p>0.05)


Passive commuting to school showed a correlation with excess weight and body fat but not with elevated AP. Excess weight was associated with excessive body fat and elevated AP. Excess weight should be prevented as a way to avoid fat accumulation and AP elevation.

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