Tracking of physical activity during adolescence: The 1993 Pelotas Birth Cohort, Brazil

Mario Renato Azevedo, Ana Maria Menezes, Maria Cecília Assunção, Helen Gonçalves, Ignasi Arumi, Bernardo Lessa Horta, Pedro Curi Halla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To analyze physical activity during adolescence in participants of the 1993 Pelotas Birth Cohort Study, Brazil. Methods: Data on leisure time physical activity at 11, 15, and 18 years of age were analyzed. At each visit, a cut-off point of 300 min/week was used to classify adolescents as active or inactive. A total of 3,736 participants provided data on physical activity at each of the three age points. Results: A significant decline in the proportion of active adolescents was observed from 11 to 18 years of age, particularly among girls (from 32.9% to 21.7%). The proportions of girls and boys who were active at all three age points were 28.0% and 55.1%, respectively. After adjustment for sex, economic status, and skin color, participants who were active at 11 and 15 years of age were 58.0% more likely to be active at 18 years of age compared with those who were inactive at 11 and 15 years of age. Conclusions: Physical activity declined during adolescence and inactivity tended to track over time. Our findings reinforce the need to promote physical activity at early stages of life, because active behavior established early tends to be maintained over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-930
Number of pages6
JournalRevista de saude publica
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Cohort studies
  • Exercise
  • Motor activity
  • Sedentary lifestyle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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