Physical activity in Filipino youth: The Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey

C. Tudor-Locke, B. E. Ainsworth, L. S. Adair, B. M. Popkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To describe physical activity (PA) and inactivity levels of Filipino youth aged 14-16 y. DESIGN: PA type and patterns were assessed in an adolescent cohort enrolled in the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey. SUBJECTS: A total of 1053 males (aged 15.6 ± 0.5y; body mass index (BMI)= 18.6 ± 2.6 kg/m2) and 990 females (aged 14.6 ± 0.5y; BMI = 18.8 ± 2.4 kg/m2). MEASUREMENTS: PA was assessed by (1) self-reported usual PA (questionnaire); (2) 24-h objective monitoring (Caltrac accelerometer); and (3) 24 h recalls of PA during the objectively monitored time frame. RESULTS: As measured by Caltrac, males expended 378.0 ± 164.5 kcal and females 271.0 ± 105.4 kcal. The measurement approaches employed agreed in expected ways, given the limitations of each. Together the approaches used indicated that the primary sources of PA for this population are chores and active commuting. In all, 40% of the sample walked to school, less than 1% rode a bicycle, 22% rode in/on motorized transport, and 37% used some combination of walking and motorized transport. Further, gender differences exist for type, frequency, and duration of physical activities performed by Filipino youth. Specifically, females report engaging in few leisure-time physical activities and more household chores. In total, 48% of Filipino youth report watching ≥2 h/day of television; relatively few youth (7%) report watching >4 h/day at this time. An 18% of males report no vigorous activities compared to 87% of females. CONCLUSION: Clear gender differences in PA patterns and levels exist in Filipino adolescents. Nonsport/exercise type activities (eg chores and active commuting) currently provide a large proportion of daily activity for both males and females, however. It is anticipated that as modernization and technological advancement continue in this developing country, these primary sources of PA will decrease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Active commuting
  • Developing countries
  • Economic transition
  • Energy expenditure
  • Tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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