Correlates of physical activity and inactivity in urban Mexican youth

Shannon R Siegel, Robert M Malina, Maria Eugenia Peña Reyes, Eyra E Cárdenas Barahona, Sean P Cumming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (SciVal)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-692
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


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