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Pediatría (Asunción)

versão On-line ISSN 1683-9803


RAMIREZ PASTORE, Leticia et al. Level of physical activity and nutritional status in a pediatric population of an Asunción outpatient clinic. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2020, vol.47, n.1, pp.11-16. ISSN 1683-9803.


The decrease in the level of physical activity in children and adolescents is associated with higher levels of being overweight, obesity and worsening of cardiovascular health.


To analyze physical activity habits, anthropometric parameters and screen time (television, mobile phones, tablets) in a school-aged population who presented for pediatric ambulatory consultation in Asunción during 2018.

Materials and Methods:

This was an observational cross-sectional and descriptive study with an analytical component. The level of physical activity was assessed through the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children (PAQ-C), with scores ranging from 1 to 5, with 5 being the maximum physical activity. A question about the number of hours per day in front of screens was incorporated. The anthropometric variables evaluated were body mass index (BMI), BMI Z-score, triceps skin fold and abdominal circumference. The variables were presented as mean and standard deviations. The data were analyzed by the T-Student and Chi square tests. The level of significance established was <0.05.


636 schoolchildren were evaluated, 54% were male, with a mean age of 10 years. 11.3% were obese and 22.2% overweight. The physical activity measured by PAQ-C averaged 2.93 ± 0.65 points. The average screen time was 3.53 ± 2.33 hours.

When adjusted for gender, no significant differences were found for age, nor for anthropometric parameters, nor screen hours.

The tertile division of the physical activity values showed significant differences with the BMI, Z-score of the BMI and triceps skin fold, but not with the abdominal circumference (p = 0.089). On the other hand, the least active children are those who said they spend more time in front of screens (p = 0.006).


Lower levels of physical activity are reported by those children who spend more time in front of screens, have a higher body mass index and BMI Z-score, as well as a greater triceps skin fold.

Palavras-chave : Physical activity; sedentary lifestyle; school children; obesity; overweight.

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