Stages of change in physical exercise behavior among adolescents

Maick da Silveira Viana, Alexandro Andrade


The objective of the present study was to analyze the stages of behavioral change (SBC) in physical exercise among adolescent from public schools in Florianópolis, SC, Brazil. The sample consisted of 400 adolescents (53.8% girls and 46.2% boys) aged 14 to 18 (mean age of 16.3 years for girls and 16.4 years for boys), who were randomly selected from state high schools operating in the municipality of Florianópolis. Associations between variables were analyzed using the chi-square test (α=0.05). The results showed that 67.6% of the students performed regularly some type of physical exercise (action and maintenance stages), whereas only 9.8% did not exercise or did not intend to exercise (pre-contemplation stage). Boys exercised more than girls since they were in more advanced SBC (p<0.000). Age, school year, or period of study was not significantly associated with EMC in the sample as a whole, but male students who studied in the morning were found to be more sedentary (p=0.050). The results showed that most students of the population perform some physical exercise. However, attention should be paid to a minority of students who showed a sedentary behavior, especially those who do not intend to exercise. The importance of SBC for more effective health intervention is highlighted since, even if a program does not render an individual physically active within a short period of time, positive long-term behavioral changes can be expected.




Motor Activity; Students; Adolescent behavior; Atividade Física; Estudantes; Comportamento do adolescente.


The abbreviated title of the journal is Rev. Bras. Cineantropom. Desempenho Hum, which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references. E-ISSN 1980-0037, impressa ISSN 1415-8426, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.