Evaluation of Youth Enjoyment Toward Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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Purpose: The consensus is that physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) are independent behaviors, but past findings suggest that they may be influenced by common underlying factors. To clarify this issue, we examined associations between enjoyment of PA and participation in both PA and SB in a large sample of 4th- to 12th-grade US youth. Methods: A total of 18,930 students from 187 schools completed the youth activity profile, a self-report 15-item survey that assesses time spent in PA and SB in school and home settings. Two additional items captured enjoyment of PA and physical education. Two-way (gender × enjoyment and grade × enjoyment) mixed analysis of variances were conducted. Results: Pearson correlation results revealed a positive relationship between enjoyment and PA (r = .38, P < .05) and an inverse correlation between enjoyment and SB (r = −.23, P < .05). Statistically significant main effects of enjoyment were found in the 2-way analysis of variance for both PA and SB. The simple main effect from analysis of variance indicated students with high enjoyment of PA reported higher levels of PA and lower levels of SB compared with students reporting moderate or low levels of enjoyment. Conclusion: The results provide new insights related to the relevance of enjoyment as a common underlying variable influencing both PA and SB across gender and grade levels.

Bai is with the Dept. of Rehabilitation and Movement Science, The University of Vermont, Burlington, VT. Allums-Featherston is with the Mesquite Independent School District, Dallas, TX. Saint-Maurice is with the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD. Welk is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Candelaria is with The Cooper Institute, Dallas, TX.

Address author correspondence to Yang Bai at Yang.Bai@med.uvm.edu.
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