Tracking of physical activity from adolescence to adulthood: A population-based study

Mario Renato Azevedo, Cora Luiza Araújo, Marcelo Cozzensa da Silva, Pedro Curi Hallal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the association between regular physical activity in adolescence and leisure-time physical activity in adulthood, with emphasis on gender differences. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study was carried out in Pelotas, Southern Brazil, in 2003. A representative sample of households was selected in multiple stages and subjects aged 20-59 years were interviewed. Leisure-time physical activity was evaluated using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Data on adolescent physical activity were based on subjects' recall. Results: Of 2,577 subjects interviewed, 27.5% were classified as adequately active, and 54.9% reported regular physical activity in adolescence. Subjects who engaged in regular physical activity during adolescence were more likely to be adequately active in adulthood (adjusted prevalence ratio 1.42; 95% CI: 1.23; 1.65). This effect was stronger in women (adjusted prevalence ratio: 1.51; 95% CI: 1.22; 1.86) than men (adjusted prevalence ratio: 1.35; 95% CI: 1.10; 1.67). Conclusions: Promoting physical activity in school age may be a successful intervention against the epidemic of adult inactivity. Although women were less likely to report regular physical activity in adolescence, the effect of this experience on adult behavior was stronger than in men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
JournalRevista de saude publica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-sectional studies
  • Life style
  • Motor activity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Tracking of physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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