OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the association between physical education classes and PA among adolescents from 50 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
METHODS: A self-reported questionnaire from the Global School-based Student Survey (GSHS) was used to collect information on participation frequency of physical education classes and being physically active over the last week, as well as other control variables (e.g., sex, age, country, sedentary behavior). Multivariable logistic regression and a pooled meta-analysis were performed to explore the association and compared country-wise differences.
RESULTS: Included adolescents aged from 13 to 17 years (n = 187,386, %boys = 51.7; mean age = 14.6 years), the prevalence of sufficient PA (meeting the PA guidelines) was 14.9%. The prevalence of 5 days or more to engage in physical education classes was 16.5%. Compared with adolescents who had 0 days for physical education classes, higher participation frequency was more likely related to sufficient PA (OR: 1 day = 1.34, 2 days = 1.66, 3 days = 1.67, 4 days = 1.79, 5 days or more = 2.46), these findings were also observed in both sexes. A moderate inconsistency on the association across the included countries was found (I2 = 53%, p < 0.01), although the pooled OR was 1.50 (95% CI: 1.36-1.65).
CONCLUSIONS: Participating in more physical education classes may be an effective approach to increase physical activity levels among adolescents in LMICs. However, promoting physical activity levels among adolescents in LMICs through physical education classes should consider more country-specific factors.
Bibliographical note© 2021 Sociedade Brasileira de Pediatria. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. This is an open access article under the CC BY
FunderNational Social Science Foundation of China ( 19CTY010 ).
- Physical activity
- Physical education
- Low- and middle-income countries
- Physical activity epidemiology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health