Perceived barriers to physical activity in adolescent students from a Southern Brazilian city.

Daniela Dressler Dambros, Luis Felipe Dias Lopes, Daniela Lopes dos Santos


The purpose of this study was to analyze physical activity (PA) habits and perceived barriers to PA in high school students from the municipality of Santa Maria, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. A total of 424 students with a mean age of 15.69 (±0.9) years, 54.72% of them male and 45.28% female, took part in the study. The third part of the COMPAC questionnaire was used to assess physical activity habits, and the questionnaire developed by Martins and Petroski (2000), adapted for this study population, to investigate perceived barriers to physical activity. The main perceived barriers were time devoted to studies, absence of an exercise partner, poor weather and long work hours. Girls perceived more barriers than boys. Nearly one-third of participants (32.35%) were considered insufficiently active. Engagement in moderate to vigorous PA differed significantly (p<0.05) between genders, girls being less active. Walking was the most widely practiced activity among girls (76.04%), whereas boys favored soccer (71.90%). There were significant differences in PA between private and public school students; those enrolled in state-run schools were most active. Our results can serve as a reference for specific actions designed to promote physical activity and health.


Adolescent; Adolescent health; Motor activity.


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.