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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


PINEROS, Marion  and  PARDO, Constanza. Physical activity in adolescents of five Colombian cities: Results of the Global Youth Health Survey. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2010, vol.12, n.6, pp.903-914. ISSN 0124-0064.

Objectives In Colombia, chronic diseases represent a significant health burden. The promotion of physical activity has demonstrated effectiveness in terms of their control. The surveillance of physical activity levels in different age groups permits the design of specific interventions, monitoring and evaluation. To estimate the prevalence of global physical activity, sedentarism, physical activity for transportation and physical activity at school, among adolescent students in five Colombian cities. Materials and methods The Global School-based Health Survey was implemented in public and private schools of five Colombian cities: Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cali, Manizales y Valledupar. Students were selected through a multi-stage sampling procedure. The survey was anonymous, voluntary and self-processed by students. Statistical analysis was performed at the CDC. The results are representative for adolescent students of each city. Results The reported recommended levels of physical activity in students from 13 to 15 years ranged from 9 % to 19.8 % in the five cities, being constantly higher among males. Overall, 50.3 % of the students reported not being physically active for transportation to school. 50.3 % of the students played video or computer games or used a computer for 3 or more hours a day. Conclusion The results indicate low levels of physical activity among students of the five main cities in Colombia, pointing towards the need of interventions at different levels and the need for continuing surveillance.

Keywords : Surveillance; physical activity; adolescent; Colombia.

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