Prevalence and correlates of adherence to movement guidelines among urban and rural children in Mozambique: a cross-sectional study

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2019 Oct 28;16(1):94. doi: 10.1186/s12966-019-0861-y.


Background: Insufficient physical activity, short sleep duration, and excessive recreational screen time are increasing globally. Currently, there are little to no data describing prevalences and correlates of movement behaviours among children in low-middle-income countries. The few available reports do not include both urban and rural respondents, despite the large proportion of rural populations in low-middle-income countries. We compared the prevalence of meeting 24-h movement guidelines and examined correlates of meeting the guidelines in a sample of urban and rural Mozambican schoolchildren.

Methods: This is cross-sectional study of 9-11 year-old children (n = 683) recruited from 10 urban and 7 rural schools in Mozambique. Moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) and sleep duration were measured by waist-worn Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometers. Accelerometers were worn 24 h/day for up to 8 days. Recreational screen time was self-reported. Potential correlates of meeting 24-h movement guidelines were directly measured or obtained from validated items of context-adapted questionnaires. Multilevel multivariable logit models were used to determine the correlates of movement behaviours. Meeting 24-h movement guidelines was defined as ≥60 min/day of MVPA, ≤2 h/day of recreational screen time, and between 9 and 11 h/night of sleep.

Results: More rural (17.7%) than urban (3.6%) children met all three 24-h movement guidelines. Mean MVPA was lower (82.9 ± 29.5 min/day) among urban than rural children (96.7 ± 31.8 min/day). Rural children had longer sleep duration (8.9 ± 0.7 h/night) and shorter recreational screen time (2.7 ± 1.9 h/day) than their urban counterparts (8.7 ± 0.9 h/night and 5.0 ± 2.3 h/day respectively). Parental education (OR: 0.37; CI: 0.16-0.87), school location (OR: 0.21; CI: 0.09-0.52), and outdoor time (OR: 0.67; CI: 0.53-0.85) were significant correlates of meeting all three 24-h movement guidelines.

Conclusions: Prevalence and correlates of meeting movement guidelines differed between urban and rural schoolchildren in Mozambique. On average, both groups had higher daily MVPA minutes, shorter sleep duration, and higher recreational screen time than the 24-h movement guidelines recommend. These findings (e.g., higher than recommended mean daily MVPA minutes) differ from those from high-income countries and highlight the need to sample from both urban and rural areas.

Keywords: 24-h movement guidelines; Correlates; Moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity; Recreational screen time; Sleep; Urban/rural comparison.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Fitness Trackers
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Mozambique / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Schools / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*

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