Global Advanced Research Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences (GARJMMS) ISSN: 2315-5159
December 2017 Special Issue Vol. 6(12), pp. 362-368
Copyright © 2017 Global Advanced Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Physical activity in Mexican urban school children:  Differences by nutritional status and school type

Marcos Galván1,2*, Alejandra Monroy-Campos1, Guadalupe López-Rodríguez1,2, Marco González Unzaga1,2, Diana Olivo1,2, Jhazmín Hernández-Cabrera1, Teodoro Suárez-Diéguez1,2, Trinidad Fernández-Cortés1, Rebeca Guzmán-Saldaña1 and Hugo Amigo3

1Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Health Sciences, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo. Pachuca, Hidalgo, México.
2Academic Group of Nutritional and Molecular Epidemiology, Institute of Health Sciences, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo. Pachuca, Hidalgo, México.
3Nutrition Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile. Santiago,  Chile.

*Corresponding Author E-mail:; Tel.: (052)7717172000 ext. 4312, Fax: 5114.

Accepted 18 December, 2017 


Childhood obesity and physical inactivity are the major risk factors for morbidity and premature mortality. This study aimed to determine the practice of physical activity (PA) and physical inactivity, physical fitness and self-efficacy for PA in Mexican urban schoolchildren and their relationship by nutritional status and school type. A cross-sectional study was carried out in 396 schoolchildren, their weight, height and waist circumference were evaluated. A six-minute walk test (6MWT), practice of PA and physical inactivity questionnaire (CAINM), and Self-Efficacy Questionnaire for PA (SQPA), were applied. The frequency of overweight and obesity was high both public school (45%) and private (51%). We found significant differences in the type of PA by private school students (running, cycling and playing soccer) compared to public school students (swimming, dancing and playing tennis). In boys the average screen time (TV, movies and video games) was higher (3.6 ± 2.1 h) than in girls (2.7 ± 1.6 h) (p<0.01). The students registered more than 50% of negative responses regarding the self-efficacy to perform PA in SQPA. The total distance traveled in 6MWT was higher in schoolchildren without abdominal obesity than with abdominal obesity, both for private (548.7 ± 70.8 m vs 526.1 ± 54.3) and public schools (541.4 ± 67vs 509.3 ± 51.5) (p<0.05). In addition to a high prevalence of overweight and obesity in urban Mexican schoolchildren, evidence was found that students did not comply with the recommendation to spend less than two hours of screen time. The students presented low self-efficacy for physical activity, and abdominal obesity is conditioning to lower physical fitness.

Keywords: Physical inactivity, childhood obesity, self-efficacy, schoolchildren.



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