Physical Activity Patterns Among Adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean Region

Antonio Bernabe-Ortiz, Rodrigo M. Carrillo-Larco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Physical activity implies different patterns, but many studies have focused on physical inactivity and sedentary behaviors. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of different physical activity patterns among adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean region. METHODS: Pooled analysis of the most updated data of the Global School-based Student Health surveys. Age-standardized prevalence of 4 outcomes was estimated using information from the last 7 days: physical inactivity (0 d of at least 60 min/d), insufficient physical activity (<5 d of at least 60 min/d), commuting physical activity (≥5 d of walking or biking to school), and sedentary behavior (≥3 h/d of sitting time). RESULTS: A total of 132,071 records (33 countries) were analyzed, mean age 14.6 years, 51.2% girls. Pooled age-standardized prevalence of physical inactivity was 22.3%, greater among girls (25.4%) than boys (19.1%); insufficient physical activity was present in 67.7%, greater in girls (73.6%) than boys (61.5%); commuting physical activity was seen in 43.7%, similar between girls (43.3%) and boys (44.1%); and sedentary behavior was present in 43.4%, greater among girls (45.4%) than boys (41.3%). CONCLUSIONS: In Latin America and the Caribbean region, almost two-thirds of adolescents are insufficiently physically active, ≥40% are sedentary, and ≥20% are physically inactive, and these behaviors are more frequent among girls than boys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-614
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of physical activity & health
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • age-standardized prevalence
  • cross-sectional survey
  • epidemiology
  • physical inactivity
  • sedentary behavior


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