BACKGROUND: Few studies have used ecological models to study multiple levels of association with objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in young children from middle-income countries. The purpose of this study was to examine potential correlates of objectively measured MVPA in Brazilian children.
METHODS: The sample consisted of 328 children. An Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometer was used to monitor MVPA over 7 days. BMI and body fat percentage were measured using a bioelectrical impedance scale. Questionnaires completed by the children, their parents, and school personnel queried individual, family and home, and school-level environmental correlates.
RESULTS: Children averaged 59.3 min/day in MVPA (44.5% met MVPA guidelines) and 51.8% were overweight/obese. For boys and girls combined, significant correlates (p<0.05) of MVPA were waist circumference (β-.007), travel mode to school (β.140), maternal employment status (β-.119) and TV in bedroom (β-.107). In boys, significant correlates of MVPA were waist circumference (β-.011), travel mode to school (β.133) and maternal employment status (β-.195). In girls, the only significant correlate of MVPA was travel mode to school (β.143).
CONCLUSIONS: Several factors were identified as correlates of MVPA in Brazilian children; however, only travel mode to school was common for both boys and girls.