Compliance with a physical activity guideline among junior high school students

Tanaka, Chiaki and Abe, Takafumi and Takenaga, Rie and Suzuki, Takahiro and Noi, Shingo and Tanaka, Shigeho and Miyachi, Motohiko and Inoue, Shigeru and Hatamoto, Youichi and Reilly, John J. (2021) Compliance with a physical activity guideline among junior high school students. Pediatrics International, 63 (12). pp. 1514-1520. ISSN 1442-200X (

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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.


Tanaka, Chiaki, Abe, Takafumi, Takenaga, Rie, Suzuki, Takahiro, Noi, Shingo, Tanaka, Shigeho, Miyachi, Motohiko, Inoue, Shigeru, Hatamoto, Youichi and Reilly, John J. ORCID logoORCID:;