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Background:

With limited opportunities for physical activity during school hours, it is important to understand the contexts of physical activities done outside of school time. Given the importance of physical and social aspects of environments, the purpose of this study was to describe where and with whom girls participate in physical activities outside of school.

Methods:

Participants were 1925 sixth-grade girls in the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (TAAG). At baseline, they completed a 3-day physical activity recall (3DPAR), reporting the main activity performed during 30-minute intervals and the physical and social contexts of physical activities.

Results:

The most frequently reported physical activities done outside of school time were house chores, walking (for transportation or exercise), dance, basketball, playing with younger children, and running or jogging. The most common location for these activities was at home or in the neighborhood. With the exception of household chores, these activities were typically done with at least one other person.

Conclusions:

Interventions that promote physical activities that can be done at or around home or developing supportive social networks for physical activity would be consistent with the current physical activity contexts of adolescent girls.

Kuo is with the Dept of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. Schmitz is with the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Evenson is with the Dept of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC 27514. McKenzie is with the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182. Jobe is with the Division of Prevention and Population Sciences, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892. Rung is with the Epidemiology Program, Louisiana State University School of Public Health, New Orleans, LA 70112. Gittelsohn is with the Dept of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205. Pate is with the Dept of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208.