Ten Research Priorities Related to Youth Sport, Physical Activity, and Health

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: Sport has been identified as one of the 7 best investments for increasing physical activity levels across the life span. Several questions remain on how to effectively utilize youth sport as a strategy for increasing physical activity and improving health in youth. The purpose of this paper is to identify the main research priorities in the areas of youth sport and physical activity for health. Methods: An international expert panel was convened, selected to cover a wide spectrum of topics related to youth sport. The group developed a draft set of potential research priorities, and relevant research was scoped. Through an iterative process, the group reached consensus on the top 10 research priorities. Results: The 10 research priorities were identified related to sport participation rates, physical activity from sport, the contribution of sport to health, and the overall return on investment from youth sport. For each research priority, the current evidence is summarized, key research gaps are noted, and immediate research needs are suggested. Conclusion: The identified research priorities are intended to guide researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to increase the evidence base on which to base the design, delivery, and policies of youth sport programs to deliver health benefits.

Howie is with the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA. Guagliano is with the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom. Milton is with the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom. Vella is with the University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia. Gomersall is with the University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Kolbe-Alexander is with the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD, Australia. Richards is with Victoria University Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand; Sport New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand; and the University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Pate is with the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA.

Howie (ekhowie@uark.edu) is corresponding author.
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