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Análise Psicológica

Print version ISSN 0870-8231


MATOS, Margarida Gaspar de; CARVALHOSA, Susana Fonseca  and  DINIZ, José Alves. Factores associados à prática da actividade física nos adolescentes portugueses . Aná. Psicológica [online]. 2002, vol.20, n.1, pp.57-66. ISSN 0870-8231.

The present study aimed to identify the factors that influence Physical Activity (PA) of Portuguese adolescents. The identification of these factors is one key step in the identification and removal of barriers to PA practice. This paper used data from the Portuguese sample of the HBSC European study (Matos, Simões, Carvalhosa, Reis & Canha, 2000). Portugal was included as a full partner in this study for the first time in 1996. This survey is based on a self-completed questionnaire that is administered in schools to pupils in the 6th, 8th and 10th grades of high school, average age 14.1 years, standard deviation 1.71. Schools in the sample were randomly selected from a national list of schools, stratified by region. The Portuguese sample consisted of 6903 students, from 191 Portuguese schools, covering the whole country. Pupils were distributed, by Education Regional Divisions, as follows: 39.7% North, 24.7% Centre, 25% Lisbon, 6.2% Alentejo and 4.4% Algarve. Of the total 6903 pupils, 53% were girls and 47% boys, 34.9% in the 6th grade, 37.5% in the 8th grade and 27.6% in the 10th grade. Using a multiple linear regression model, it is clear from our results the association between sex, age and physical activity. The perception of health was also associated to Physical activity, as well as time spent with friends outside school hours and in the evenings. The association between family car and physical activity was not unexpected, highlighting the importance of access in the practice of physical activity. If we are to accept the well reported benefits of physical activity in adolescents physical and mental health, these results point out very clearly the urgency and relevance of strategies, namely within the family and school settings, aiming at helping adolescents to make healthy choices in what their life style is concerned, promoting an healthy and active life style as early as possible in one's life, taking in account gender differences.

Keywords : Adolescents; determinants; physical activity; health promotion; active life style.

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