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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
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One-year changes in physical activity and sedentary behavior among adolescents: the Croatian Physical Activity in Adolescence Longitudinal Study (CRO-PALS)

Lovro Štefan
  • Corresponding author
  • Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Horvaćanski zavoj 15, Zagreb 10 000, Croatia, Phone: 00385-0989177060
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Maroje Sorić
  • Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Antonela Devrnja / Vilko Petrić / Marjeta Mišigoj-Duraković
Published Online: 2018-06-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0223



Little is known about the concurrent change in physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior (SB) and sport participation (SP) during adolescence. The main purpose of this prospective and partly objective study was to simultaneously investigate PA, SBs and SP changes between the 1st and 2nd grades of high school in urban adolescents.


In this 1-year follow-up study, the participants were 81 secondary-school students (28 boys and 53 girls) aged 15.5 years at the baseline. PA was assessed with the SenseWear Armband multi-sensor activity monitor, while SBs were assessed by using School Health Action, Planning and Evaluation System (SHAPES) PA questionnaire. The SHAPES questionnaire was supplemented with two questions inquiring about SP in organized sports in school and outside of school.


PA decreased markedly in both genders between the 1st and 2nd grades of high school. Total energy expenditure (TEE) was reduced by 13 kcal/kg/day on average in boys and by 10 kcal/kg/day in girls (p for both <0.001), while mean daily active energy expenditure (AEE) decreased by 7 kcal/kg/day (p < 0.001) and 3 kcal/kg/day (p = 0.04) in boys and girls, respectively. Similarly, the amount of moderate PA declined by 49 min/day in boys and 21 min/day in girls (p for both <0.001). At the same time vigorous PA was cut by 14 min/day (p < 0.001) and 3 min/day (p = 0.003) in boys and girls, respectively. Conversely, time spent in SBs did not show any change.


In conclusion, a decline in PA between the 1st and 2nd grades of high school was marked but was not accompanied with an increase in SBs. Policies aimed at increasing PA should be targeting the period of entering secondary school to offset the observed drop in PA.

Keywords: exercise; lifestyle habits; screen time; secondary school; students


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About the article

Received: 2017-12-22

Accepted: 2018-01-21

Published Online: 2018-06-08

Author contributions: Author Contributions: Marjeta Mišigoj-Duraković and Maroje Sorić conceived and designed the study. All authors were involved in data collection. Lovro Štefan conducted data analysis. Lovro Štefan and Maroje Sorić prepared the first draft of the paper. Antonela Devrnja, Vilko Petrić and Marjeta Mišigoj-Duraković commented the draft of the paper. All authors approved the final version of the paper.

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20170223, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0223.

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