School Matters: Physical Activity and School-Related Factors among Adolescent Latinas

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Hispanic/Latina students face difficulties engaging in physical activity, but schools can help by integrating activity into accrue the school day and offering sport and activity-based extracurriculars. In this study, we examined physical activity (PA) and school-related factors among adolescent Hispanic/Latina students. Participants (N = 5,539) were eighth, ninth, and eleventh grade females identifying as Hispanic/Latina on the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey. We used descriptive statistics and a generalized linear model to examine relationships between school-related variables and days of ≥ 60 minutes of PA in the past week. Many participants engaged in no physical education (44%), sports (61%), PA lessons (84%), or after-school activities (76%). More days of physical education, sport, and PA lessons associated with higher PA levels (p <.001), as did more days of non-sport activities (p ≤.01) and feeling safer going to/from school (p ≤.05). Significant interactions demonstrated the effect of physical education on PA was strongest for eighth grade students. Hispanic/Latina students’ PA and engagement in school activities are limited, and schools’ practices and policies should intentionally support these adolescents’ PA early and throughout their educational careers.

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  • Hispanic/Latina adolescents
  • physical activity promotion
  • physical education
  • schools
  • sport


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