Impact of physical activity on the Body Mass Index and self-esteem of adolescents


  • Francisco Nataniel Uchôa Universitary Center of Grande Fortaleza
  • Romário Pinheiro Lustosa State University of Ceará
  • Joaquim Cintra Andrade State University of Ceará
  • Thiago da Costa Daniele Federal University of Ceará
  • Naira Figueiredo Deana Faculty of Dentistry, Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile
  • Ágata Marques Aranha University of Trás-os-Montes & Alto Douro
  • Nilton Alves Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile



The object of this study was to analyse the impact of the practice of physical activity on the body mass index (BMI) and self-esteem of adolescents. The samples included 1,011 adolescents, aged between 14 and 18 years. First the BMI was calculated, then the adolescents filled in the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (RSS) questionnaire and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Student's t-test and the chi-squared test were used for statistical analysis. The Odds Ratio and the Confidence Interval (95%) were also calculated. Female adolescents who are physically active have a 22.4% lower probability of developing overweight/obesity (OR=0.776, CI 95% 0.741-0.813) and 34.4% lower probability of presenting low self-esteem (OR=0.656, CI 95% 0.616-0.698). Participation in physical education classes reduces the probability that male adolescents will present low self-esteem by 88% (OR=0.120 CI 95% 0.043-0.339). In female adolescents, the practice of physical activity at school acts to prevent low self-esteem, as well as helping to control bodyweight increase. In male adolescents’ participation in physical education classes acts as a protection against low self-esteem.






Original Article

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