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Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2005 Jan-Mar;17(1):67-78.

Don't stop, don't stop: physical activity and adolescence.

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Groupe de Recherche sur la Santé des Adolescents, Institut Universitaire de Médecine Sociale et Préventive, Lausanne, Switzerland.


The aim was to assess whether physical activity decreases during adolescence, whether this decrease depends on the gender, whether physical activity is related to personal, family, and school factors, and whether it is associated to healthy behaviors in a sample of adolescents. Data were drawn from a survey carried out in 2001 among in-school Catalan adolescents aged 14-19 years. Subjects were divided in two groups: physical activity (N=4,185, 43.5% females) and no-physical activity (N=2,743; 68.9% females). Personal, family, school and lifestyles' variables were compared. Chi-square and Odds Ratio were used to compare qualitative variables and Student's t to compare quantitative variables. For the multivariate analysis, all statistically significant variables in the univariate analysis in each of the four groups of variables (plus age) were introduced in a non-conditioned multiple regression. Analysis was performed separately by gender. Physical activity was significantly more frequent among males and decreased with age. Globally, physically active youth perceived themselves as healthier and happier with their body image, they showed a better relationship with their parents, were better connected to school, and exhibited healthier lifestyles. As physical activity has important benefits on health, health professionals dealing with adolescents should encourage adolescents to keep practicing. This message must be specially directed to females.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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