Promoting physical activity for children: an audit among Italian family pediatricians

Minerva Pediatr (Torino). 2023 Feb;75(1):8-13. doi: 10.23736/S2724-5276.17.04843-5. Epub 2017 Sep 7.


Background: This survey aimed to investigate the perception of Italian Pediatricians regarding the promotion of physical activity.

Methods: From January to May 2015, a survey was conducted among family pediatricians working in Puglia, interviewed by a standardized questionnaire, that investigated demographic information, participation in sporting activity by the pediatrician, opinion on obesity and the promotion of physical activity, and attitude towards enquiring about the physical activity of patients with and without chronic diseases.

Results: We collected 200 questionnaires (35.7% of target population): 51.5% of enrolled pediatricians stated that they were participating in sporting activities at the time of the survey. The average opinion regarding the relevance of the obesity was 9±1.4/10 and about the promotion of physical activity 9.6±0.8. All enrolled pediatricians asked for their patients' physical activity and encouraged inactive children to begin an appropriate activity. Pediatricians who took part in sport had a high probability of encouraging physical activity, among patients affected by chronic diseases.

Conclusions: Family pediatricians declared a good attitude regarding the promotion of physical activity for their patients according to national and international recommendations. The main concern emerging from our results is the risk of an "inappropriate interdiction" of physical activity in children affected by chronic diseases, in particular physicians that have never participated in a sport.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Pediatricians*
  • Physicians*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires