Physical Activity During the Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health

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Cathleen D. Zick
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Ken R. Smith
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Barbara B. Brown
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Jessie X. Fan
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Lori Kowaleski-Jones
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Background:

We examine how age, life course roles, and contextual variables relate to both the composition and the overall level of physical activity in late adolescence and early adulthood.

Methods:

Data on respondents age 15 to 29 y in the 2003 American Time Use Survey are used to estimate multivariate logistic regressions that assess what factors are associated with meeting the recommended level of physical activity.

Results:

The proportion of respondents who do 30 min or more of team sports declines over the 15 to 29 y age range even after controlling for life course and contextual covariates. Parenthood, employment status, and school enrollment have selective effects on the odds of meeting physical activity recommendations.

Conclusions:

Given the declines in team sports activities, schools and public health officials should consider the potential benefits of promoting other options such as cardiovascular activities, strength training activities, and/or active transportation.

The authors are with the Dept of Family and Consumer Studies and Institute for Public and International Affairs, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112.

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