Prevalence of physically active adolescents in Brazilian capitals: National Adolescent School-based Health Survey 2012 and 2015

ABSTRACT: Objective: To compare the prevalence of physically active adolescents living in Brazilian capitals, using 2012 and 2015 National Adolescent School-based Health Survey. Method: The sample consisted of 61,145 (2012) and 51,192 (2015) adolescents who were residents in 27 Brazilian capitals and were attending the 9th year of elementary school. The globally estimated physical activity indicator with the cutoff point of 300 minutes or more per week was used to determine the prevalence of physically active adolescents in both surveys. The prevalence rates were stratified by socio-demographic characteristics (gender, age, maternal schooling and skin color) and by capital of residency. Descriptive statistics were used for comparisons considering 95% confidence intervals. Results: The respective prevalence rates of physically active adolescents observed in 2012 (21.0%; 95%CI 20.3 - 21.7) and 2015 (20.7%; 95%CI 20.1 - 21.3) were similar, independently of the sociodemographic characteristics. In considering the 27 capitals, a reduction in the prevalence of physically active adolescents from 2012 to 2015 was observed only in Belém. Conclusion: Overall, no changes in the prevalence of physically active adolescents residing in urban centers was observed from 2012 to 2015. These findings evidence the need for new public policies in order to enhance and promote the practice of physical activity among Brazilian adolescents, as well as the expansion of existing ones.