Developing a culturally relevant and feasible data collection protocol to measure physical activity, sleep, and sedentary time in high school students in Guadalajara, Mexico


Background: The benefits of achieving movement behaviour recommendations (i.e., an adequate balance of physical activity, sleep, and sedentary time over a 24-hour period) in young adulthood are well-established. However, in Mexico, nationally representative self-reported data suggest that only 5% of adolescents (15-19 years) meet these recommendations. Promoting movement behaviours among Mexican adolescents is a public health imperative. To develop and assess effective interventions, it is essential to identify data collection protocols that are feasible and culturally relevant in a Mexican setting. Methods: From October 2022-May 2023, the research team met with stakeholders (school board officials, school principals, parents, and high school students) in Guadalajara, Mexico to introduce and discuss a project to measure movement behaviours in high school students using Fitbits (a low-cost alternative to research-grade accelerometers) and a questionnaire. Local university students were trained as research assistants (RAs) and helped test Fitbits and pilot the configuration process. The questionnaire was developed and piloted with the ultimate intended population. Results: Meetings with stakeholders determined culturally relevant procedures for selection, recruitment, consent, and data collection. Eleven university students received RA training. Piloting highlighted essential space, time, technology and human resource needs for a future study. Eighteen high school students (33% women, average age 15.3) completed the questionnaire, taking 7-19 minutes. Students’ lack of access to wi-fi was a barrier to data collection. Conclusion: The data collection protocol is feasible and culturally relevant. It will be used to assess the movement behaviour of 600 high school students from August-November 2023.