Age and Involvement in Sport and Physical Activity

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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This paper focuses on how age affects involvement in sport and physical activity. Investigated are questions related to how age differences in perceived barriers and outcomes to involvement in sport and physical activity, socioeconomic status, and sport philosophy/ideology affect joining a corporate versus a private sport and fitness program. A developmental lifestyle perspective is offered as the theoretical premise on which interpretations of the data are based. Findings from this study clearly show that reasons for involvement in sport and physical activity vary across the life cycle. At younger ages the psychological benefits associated with work related stress are perceived as the most important reason for involvement. During middle age, philosophical and ideological reasons begin to determine the setting where involvement in these programs takes place. Finally, for older individuals, philosophical differences along with socioeconomic factors determine both the extent and where involvement occurs.

William J. Rudman is with the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Larkins Hall, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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