Adolescents' physical activity habits – results from a national health survey

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Abstract

Background

The MABAT Youth National Health and Nutrition Survey was conducted in Israel by the Ministry of Health and the Center for Disease Control. This article presents results of physical activity (PA) habits in Israel, in relation to recommendations by world health organizations.

Methods

Participants were 6274 adolescents, grades 7–12, enrolled in a cross-sectional, representative, school-based survey. Sufficient level of PA was defined as any moderate and vigorous level of PA that adds up daily to 60 min/day. Light PA was considered to be an insufficient level of PA.

Results

Only 10.5% of the participants reported performing sufficient PA. Large gender differences were found, with 17.7% of boys versus only 4.6% of girls meeting the guidelines.

Conclusions

Results highlight the need to develop programmes for school children in Israel to promote PA. Such programmes have been initiated in many countries that have a large percentage of adolescents with a sedentary lifestyle.

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