Association between urbanicity and physical activity in Mexican adolescents: The use of a composite urbanicity measure

Maria Hermosillo Gallardo, Russ Jago, Simon Sebire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
248 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: In Mexico, 39.5% of adolescents do not meet the World Health Organisation’s physical activity guidelines. Urbanicity is a potential correlate of physical activity. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between different aspects of urbanicity and adolescents’ physical activity.

Methods: Participants were 4,079 Mexican adolescents aged 15-18 from Mexico City and Oaxaca, Mexico. Data was collected between February and June 2016. Multiple imputation of missing data was implemented after confirming values were missing at random. Multivariable regression models examined associations between five domains of self-reported physical activity: 1) moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, 2) sports activities, 3) leisure time activities, 4) Physical Education class at school, 5) active commuting to school; and a composite measure of urbanicity and its seven sub-scores: 1) demographic, 2) economic activity, 3) built environment, 4) communication, 5) education, 6) diversity and 7) health services. Multivariable regression models were adjusted for parents’ education and participants’ age.

Results: Urbanicity was positively associated with activity spent in Physical Education class. The association between urbanicity and sport activities depended on state context. Communication-based urbanicity was negatively associated with leisure physical activity and active commuting. Population density was positively associated with active commuting.

Conclusion: Urbanicity is associated with adolescents’ physical activity in Mexico. Findings were largely consistent between Mexico City and Oaxaca and highlight the value of examining urbanicity as a multidimensional construct
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0204739
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2018


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