Background: Identifying parental perceived barriers might contribute to strategies to promote physical activity in children. This study aimed to observe parental perceived barriers for 6- to 10-year-old children’s participation in organized sports and understand to what extent the socioeconomic status, the place of residence, and children’s sex, age, and sport participation affect those perceived barriers. Methods: Data were collected from 834 parents of 6- to 10-year-old children living in the Portuguese Midlands, using a multiple-choice questionnaire. Parents reported the perceived barriers to children’s sport activities, such as time, health, transportation, costs, safety, facilities, weather, tiredness, and lack of interest. Children’s and sociodemographic characteristics were also collected. Results: Time and costs were the most reported barriers by parents. Barriers to access were mostly reported by parents of girls and younger children, parents of inactive children, and families living in an urban setting and in socioeconomic disadvantage. Perceived barriers differed according to both children’s and sociodemographic characteristics, highlighting the need to reduce costs and increase the variety of sports/facilities, particularly in families with girls, younger children, and those with lower incomes from more urbanized areas. Conclusions: The present findings should be considered in future planning and interventions to effectively promote physical activity in children.
Daniela Rodrigues, Cristina Padez and Aristides M. Machado-Rodrigues
Aristides M. Machado-Rodrigues, Manuel J. Coelho e Silva, Jorge Mota, Rute Marina Santos, Sean P. Cumming and Robert M. Malina
Sport has high social valence and is a primary context for physical activity for the majority of youth. The aim of this study was to estimate the contribution of participation in organized sport to the total daily energy expenditure and also to its moderate-to-vigorous portion in male adolescents.
The sample comprised 165 Portuguese male youth, aged 13 to 16 years. Physical activity was assessed with a multi-method approach (Actigraph GT1M accelerometer plus 3-day diary record). Differences in the intensities of physical activity and sedentary behavior of male sport participants and nonsport participants were compared using independent sample t-test.
Male participants in organized sports spent significantly more time in moderate-to-vigorous activities than nonparticipants, although the P-value for the 15 to 16 years age-group was marginal (P = .08) on the weekend days. In addition, male adolescents spent 11% to 13% of total daily energy expenditure in organized sports which corresponded to 35% to 42% of the moderate-to-vigorous portion of daily energy expenditure.
Organized sport appears to be a relevant component of daily activity energy expenditure to promote healthy lifestyles among male adolescents.
Aristides M. Machado Rodrigues, Manuel J. Coelho e Silva, Jorge Mota, Sean P. Cumming, Lauren B. Sherar, Helen Neville and Robert M. Malina
Sex differences in physical activity (PA) through pubertal maturation and the growth spurt are often attributed to changing interests. The contribution of sex differences in biological maturation to the adolescent decline has received limited attention. This study examined the contribution of somatic maturation to sex differences in objective assessments of sedentary behavior and PA in Portuguese adolescents (N = 302, aged 13–16 years). Maturation was estimated from the percentage of predicted mature stature and physically active and inactive behaviors assessed with Actigraph GT1M accelerometers. The influence of age, sex and their interaction on body size, maturation and physical behaviors were examined using factorial ANOVA and, subsequently, ANCOVA (controlling for maturation) tested the effect of sex. Males spent more time in MVPA and less time in sedentary behavior than females. However, sex differences were attenuated when maturation was controlled; thus suggesting that maturity may play an important role in adolescent behaviors.
Aristides M. Machado-Rodrigues, Neiva Leite, Manuel J. Coelho e Silva, João Valente-dos-Santos, Raul A. Martins, Luis PG Mascarenhas, Margaret CS Boguszewski, Cristina Padez and Robert M. Malina
Associations of metabolic syndrome (MetS) with lifestyle behaviors in youth is potentially important for identifying subgroups at risk and encourage interventions. This study evaluates the associations among the clustering of metabolic risk factors and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in youth.
The sample comprised 522 girls and 402 boys (N = 924) aged 11 to 17 years. Height, weight, waist circumference (WC), fasting glucose, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressures were measured. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) was assessed using the 20-m shuttle run test. MVPA was estimated with a 3-day diary. Outcome variables were statistically normalized and expressed as z scores. A clustered metabolic risk score was computed as the mean of z scores. Multiple linear regression was used to test associations between metabolic risk and MVPA by sex, adjusted for age, WC, and CRF.
After adjustment for potential confounders, MVPA was inversely associated with the clustering of metabolic risk factors in girls, but not in boys; in addition, after adjusting for WC, the statistical model of that relationship was substantially improved in girls.
MVPA was independently associated with increased risk of MetS in girls. Additional efforts are needed to encourage research with different analytical approach and standardization of criteria for MetS in youth.