Psychological Aspects, Physical Activity Levels and Overweight Concerns: A Cross-over Study of Brazilian Adolescents

Kamila Souza Santana1, Sidnei Jorge Fonseca Junior2, Cássia Queiroz3, Aldair José de Oliveira4, Sergio Machado5, 6, *, Geraldo de Albuquerque Maranhão Neto1, 7
1 Salgado de Oliveira University, Niterói, Brazil
2 Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
3 Graduate Program of Physical Activity Sciences, Salgado de Oliveira University, Niterói, Brazil
4 Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
5 Department of Sports Methods and Techniques, Federal University of Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Brazil
6 Laboratory of Physical Activity Neuroscience, Neurodiversity Institute, Queimados-RJ, Brazil
7 Kardiovize Study, International Clinical Research Centre, St. Anne's University Hospital, Brno, Czech Republic

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© 2022 Santana et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Sports Methods and Techniques, Federal University of Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Brazil; E-mail:



This study aims to identify levels of anxiety, depression, body weight, and levels of physical activity, as well as to verify possible associations among these variables in Brazilian adolescents. It is a cross-sectional study with a convenience sample of 291 Brazilian adolescents aged 13 to 15 years old (13.75±0.80 years old).


Researchers assessed students by filling out questionnaires of anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as the level of physical activity and checking anthropometric measures. Parametric and non-parametric statistics were used to compare groups divided by psychological, physical and overweight factors for boys and girls, adopting a significance level of 95%.


Results showed higher waist circumference and physical activity levels for boys (p<0.01) and higher scores for anxiety and depressive symptoms questionnaires for girls (p<0.01). In addition, a low prevalence of depression was observed in boys (0.69%/CI0.03-4.36). For anxiety and depression variables in males and females with and without overweight and physically active and inactive, there were significant differences between groups (p < 0.05), but not within groups.


The identification of a higher prevalence of girls with anxiety and depression was observed in this study and reinforced this information already demonstrated in the scientific literature. In general, the prevalence of depression was low in boys, while the prevalence of overweight, sedentary lifestyle, anxiety and depression were higher in girls.

Keywords: Anxiety, Depression, Overweight, Physical activity, Body weight, Adolescents.