Compliance with a physical activity guideline among junior high school students

Chiaki Tanaka, Takafumi Abe, Rie Takenaga, Takahiro Suzuki, Shingo Noi, Shigeho Tanaka, Motohiko Miyachi, Shigeru Inoue, Youichi Hatamoto, John J. Reilly

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Background: There were no nationwide moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) data relating to Japanese adolescents. This study assessed compliance with an MVPA guideline by adolescents, using a random sampling survey in Japan. The factors associated with compliance with the guideline were also examined. Methods: Participants were first- to third-grade Japanese junior high school students (307 boys and 255 girls). We analyzed data from the National Sports-Life Survey of Teens 2019, which used the Japanese version of physical activity (PA) questions in the World Health Organization Health Behavior in School-aged Children survey and potential correlates of MVPA. Results: Compliance with the PA guideline by the World Health Organization for Japanese students was 19.0% (95% confidence interval (CI), 15.8–22.3). The compliance of boys was significantly higher than that of girls (23.1%; 95% CI, 18.4–27.8; vs 14.1%; 95% CI, 9.8−18.4). The odds of meeting the PA guideline were significantly higher for boys in the second grade than boys in the first grade (odds ratio (OR) 1.78; 95% CI, 1.02–3.09), liking PA (for all: OR: 2.97; 95% CI, 1.32–6.69; for girls: OR: 2.99; 95% CI, 1.01–8.81), and sports participation (for all: OR: 4.77; 95% CI, 2.32–9.80; for boys: OR: 6.00; 95% CI, 1.81–19.89; for girls: OR: 4.08; 95% CI, 1.63–10.21). Conclusions: The results suggest that more than 80% of junior high school students were insufficiently physically active in Japan. Preferences for PA and sports participation may be important correlates of sufficient PA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1514-1520
Number of pages7
JournalPediatrics International
Issue number12
Early online date31 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2021


  • pediatrics
  • perinatology
  • child heallth


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