Compliance with a physical activity guideline among junior high school students

Pediatr Int. 2021 Dec;63(12):1514-1520. doi: 10.1111/ped.14716. Epub 2021 Nov 12.


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.

Keywords: epidemiology; gender; inactivity; youth.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Schools
  • Students*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires