Revista Española de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1135-5727
PERULA DE TORRES, Luis Angel et al. Prevalence of physical activity and the relationship there of to sociodemographic variables and certain lifestyles among school-age children in Cordoba . Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 1998, vol.72, n.3, pp. 233-244. ISSN 1135-5727. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57271998000300008.
BACKGROUND: Regular physical exercise is not a widespread habit among the population. Early childhood in a crucial stage for acquiring this habit. The objective of this study was that of ascertaining the behavior of school-age children with regard to the degree of physical activity they do and to examine the factors involved. METHODS: An observational study was conducted by means of a survey based on a questionnaire which 6th and 8th grade students in a Basic Health Care District of Cordoba (N-585) filled out on their own. Questions were asked regarding the frequency of exercise, preferences and prospects for practicing sports, the childrens physical shape and school physical education classes, in addition to other behavior comprising their lifestyles. A dual-variable (p<0.05) and a multiple-variable analysis was conducted employing logistic regression. RESULTS: A total of 548 students filled out the survey (response rate=97.8%). 79.3% (IC95% 75.7-82.6) were involved in extracurricular physical activities, 21.0% (IC95% 17.1-24.7%) being involved in intense physical exercise. 50.5% (IC95% 46.3-54.8) did not think that they were in good physical shape. The age, sex, type of residence, the involvement in sports on the part of their parents or a close friend and what they considered their degree of healthiness to be comprised the variables quite strongly linked to doing exercise (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of physical exercise is high, although it progressively decreased with age, especially for girls. A major number of students considered themselves to be in unsatisfactory physical condition.
Keywords : Physical Activity; Physical Exercise; School Health; Early Childhood.