Correlates of aerobic fitness in urban and rural Portuguese adolescents

A M Machado-Rodrigues, M J Coelho-e-Silva, J Mota, Sean P Cumming, Christopher Riddoch, R M Malina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (SciVal)


Background: Improving physical fitness is often an objective of programmes aimed at preventing obesity among youth. Aim: To evaluate the association between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and area of residence controlling for several correlates in adolescents.

Subjects and methods: CRF was assessed with the progressive aerobic cardiovascular endurance run (PACER) test in a cross-sectional sample of 362 Portuguese adolescents (165 males, 197 females) of 13-16 years of age. Youth were classified by area of residence as urban or rural. Gender, age, weight status, parental education, screen time (inactivity) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were statistically controlled. Logistic regression analysis was used.

Results: Adolescents of both sexes from rural settings were 76% more likely to be classified as aerobically fit compared to those from urban areas. The odds ratio for CRF in the final model was similar in boys (OR = 0.24, 95% CI 0.06-0.99, p < 0.05) and girls (OR = 0.24, 95% CI 0.07-0.76, p < 0.05). MVPA and weight status were important predictors of CRF in Portuguese adolescents of 13-16 years of age. Maternal education was an additional predictor in girls.

Conclusion: CRF and rural / urban settings were significantly related in this sample of Portuguese adolescents of both sexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-484
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • accelerometry
  • aerobic fitness
  • health promotion
  • geographic contexts
  • adolescence


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