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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


RUIZ-TRASSERRA, Alicia et al. Patterns of physical activity and associated factors among teenagers from Barcelona (Spain) in 2012. Gac Sanit [online]. 2017, vol.31, n.6, pp.485-491.  Epub Nov 30, 2020. ISSN 0213-9111.


To estimate the prevalence of moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA), as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and associated factors among teenagers from Barcelona in 2012.


Cross-sectional survey to assess risk factors in a representative sample of secondary school students (aged 13-16 years, International Standard Classification of Education [ISCED] 2, n = 2,162; and 17-18 years, ISCED 3, n = 1016) in Barcelona. We estimated MVPA prevalence overall, and for each independent variable and each gender. Poisson regression models with robust variance were fit to examine the factors associated with high-level MVPA, and obtained prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI).


Only 13% of ISCED 2 and 10% of ISCED 3 students met the WHO physical activity recommendations. This percentage was lower among girls at both academic levels. MVPA was lower among ISCED 3 compared to ISCED 2 students, and among students with a lower socioeconomic status. Physical activity was associated with positive self-perception of the health status (e.g., positive self-perception of health status among ISCED 2 compared to ISCED 3 students: PR = 1.31 [95%CI: 1.22-1.41] and 1.61 [95%CI: 1.44-1.81] for boys and girls, respectively].


The percentage of teenagers who met WHO MVPA recommendations was low. Strategies are needed to increase MVPA levels, particularly in older girls, and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

Keywords : Exercise; Adolescence; Gender identity; Health survey; Cross-sectional studies.

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