The prevalence of global physical activity among young people: a systematic review for the Report Card Brazil 2018

Valter Cordeiro Barbosa Filho, Rafael Martins da Costa, Margarethe Thaisi Garro Knebel, Bruno Nunes de Oliveira, Camila Brasileiro de Araújo Silva, Kelly Samara da Silva


The aim of this study was to summarize data on the prevalence of global physical activity (PA) among children and adolescents in Brazil. This systematic review included an electronic search in 8 databases (PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, LILACS, SPORTDiscus, BIREME, Scielo, and Google Scholar) and a manual search in the references of retrieved studies. Observational studies that assessed global PA among Brazilian children and adolescents were included. A narrative approach toward results was adopted. An initial database search reached 3276 potentially relevant titles (2534 titles after duplicate analysis); 92 (62 different studies) met all inclusion criteria. Studies were carried out between 2001 and 2015; most studies were conducted in Southern and Northeastern Brazil. Three were nationwide surveys (4.8%), but no studies included children aged 0-5 years. Eighteen different instruments for PA measurement were used; only two studies used objectively-measured PA. The most used definition was ≥ 300 minutes/week of moderate-to-vigorous PA. The overall proportion of young people who were physically active ranged from 6.5% to 92.3%. Fourteen studies (22.6%) found a prevalence of ≥ 50%. Three nationwide surveys reported the prevalence of physically active students ranging from 29.0% to 66.0%. A wide variability of PA estimates were found. Important research gaps (e.g., studies with objectively-measured PA, children aged up to 6 years-old and in Northern Brazil) should be considered to develop new research studies in Brazil.


Adolescent; Adolescent health; Brazil; Exercise; Public health

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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.