International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 49–58 | Cite as

Association between migration and physical activity of school-age children left behind in rural Mexico

  • Gabriela Palos-Lucio
  • Mario Flores
  • Marta Rivera-Pasquel
  • V. Nelly Salgado-de-Snyder
  • Eric Monterrubio
  • Santiago Henao
  • Nayeli MaciasEmail author
Original Article



The purpose of this study was to explore in rural communities of Mexico, the association between physical activity (PA) in school-age children and exposure to migration.


We measured PA through a questionnaire validated in school-age children and used in Mexican National Surveys. Migration status was measured as the number of years a family member had been in the US, and the amount of remittances that family member had sent to their household in Mexico. We used multivariable linear regression to measure the association between physical activity and migration.


School-age children who had a migrant family member spent less time on PA per day, especially recreation activities, compared to school-age children without the migrating influence. Also, children who belonged to a family that received remittances and their migrant relative lived ≥5 years in US were less likely to engage in PA.


Exposure to migration may predict reduction in PA in school-age children left behind in Mexican rural communities from the State of Morelos. These findings call for PA-tailored interventions that consider household migration characteristics.


School-age children Mexico Immigration Physical activity 



The authors of this study wish to express their gratitude to Claidé Merlos, MPH, who conducted the fieldwork for this project.


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriela Palos-Lucio
    • 1
  • Mario Flores
    • 1
  • Marta Rivera-Pasquel
    • 1
  • V. Nelly Salgado-de-Snyder
    • 2
  • Eric Monterrubio
    • 1
  • Santiago Henao
    • 1
  • Nayeli Macias
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Nutrition and Health Research CenterNational Institute of Public HealthCuernavacaMéxico
  2. 2.Health Systems Research CenterNational Institute of Public HealthCuernavacaMéxico

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