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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]

Author information

  • 1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação Física, Centro de Desporto, Florianópolis, SC - Brasil. ksilvajp@yahoo.com.br

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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

OBJECTIVE:

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

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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)

CONCLUSION:

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.

PMID:
18709259
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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