Correlates of physical activity and inactivity in urban Mexican youth

Authors

  • Shannon R. Siegel,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Kinesiology, California State University, San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California 92407
    • Department of Kinesiology, California State University, San Bernardino, 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino, CA 92407
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  • Robert M. Malina,

    1. Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712
    2. Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas 77414
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  • Maria Eugenia Peña Reyes,

    1. Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Periférico Sur y Zapote s/n, Col. Isidro Fabela, CP 14030 Delegacion Tlalpan, México, DF, Mexico
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  • Eyra E. Cárdenas Barahona,

    1. Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Periférico Sur y Zapote s/n, Col. Isidro Fabela, CP 14030 Delegacion Tlalpan, México, DF, Mexico
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    • Professor Barahona is deceased.

  • Sean P. Cumming

    1. Sport and Exercise Science, 6.19 Norwood House, School for Health, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Objectives:

To evaluate correlates of physical activity in Mexico City school youth.

Methods:

A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 1,004 school youth (490 males and 514 females), 9–18 years of age resident in Mexico City. Age, height, body mass index (BMI), socioeconomic status (SES), time viewing television and playing video games (physical inactivity), and perceived sport/physical activity status of mother and father were evaluated as potential correlates of physical activity [Physical Activity Questionnaire (PAQ)]. Multiple linear regression analyses (backward elimination) by age group and sex were used.

Results:

Physical activity declined in older adolescents, while differences between the two younger age groups were minimal. Television time showed a similar tendency. Overall, fathers were perceived as being active in sport/physical activity more frequently than mothers. Significant predictors of activity differed by age group and sex. For the total sample, age (negative) and perceived sport/activity status of the mother (positive) were significant predictors of the PAQ in boys, and age and the BMI (negative) and height and perceived sport/activity status of both parents (positive) were significant predictors for girls. Age (negative) was the main predictor for inactivity in both males and females.

Conclusions:

Potential correlates of physical activity and inactivity considered in this analysis were limited and accounted for relatively little of the variance in physical activity. The role of perceived sport/activity of the parents, especially among younger boys and girls, is particularly of interest and merits more detailed study. Nevertheless, many other variables also need to be considered. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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