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Jennifer M. Sacheck, Tara Nelson, Laura Ficker, Tamar Kafka, Julia Kuder and Christina D. Economos

Amid the childhood obesity epidemic, understanding how organized sports participation contributes to meeting physical activity recommendations in children is important. Anthropometrics were measured in children (n = 111; 68% female, 9.1 ± 0.8yr) before one 50-min soccer match. Time spent at different physical activity intensity levels was examined using Actigraph accelerometers. 49% of the match time was spent in sedentary activity (25.4 ± 5.7 min), while 33% of the match (16.9 ± 4.7 min) was spent in moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA; p < .001). 22.5% of the children were overweight/obese and spent more time in sedentary activity (+3.2 ± 1.2 min; p < .05) and less time in MVPA (-3.0 ± 1.0 min; p < .01) compared with the normal weight children. These data demonstrate that playing an organized sport such as soccer only meets a portion (~25%) of the 60 min of MVPA recommended and even less of this recommendation is met by overweight/obese children.

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Donald Sabo, Merrill J. Melnick and Beth E. Vanfossen

This study examines the impact of race and gender differences on the social mobility of high school athletes using the longitudinal, panel data of the High School and Beyond study. Regressions of educational and occupational attainment measures on sports participation were estimated for subgroups differentiated by race/ethnic status, gender, and school location (urban, suburban, and rural). It was found that participation in high school sports was most likely to affect the postsecondary status attainment of white males and, to a lesser extent, suburban white females and rural Hispanic females. High school athletic participation had almost no effect on the college-going behavior or educational expectations of black males and females. Interscholastic athletic participation was generally unrelated to postsecondary occupational status and aspirations.

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Collin Webster

Personal biography influences preservice classroom teachers’ (PCT) perceptions and attitudes related to school-based physical activity promotion (SPAP). Using an uncontrolled prepost design, this study investigated associations between biographical variables and changes in PCTs’ SPAP attitudes and perceived competence while enrolled in a 16-week SPAP course. PCTs (N = 201) completed baseline measures assessing biographical variables of year in school, sports participation, coaching/teaching experience, BMI, satisfaction with K-12 physical education (PE) and perceived physical activity (PA) competence, and prepost measures assessing SPAP attitudes and perceived competence. One-way repeated measures analysis of variance procedures showed statistically significant, positive changes in PCTs’ scores on all SPAP measures. Mixed-model analysis of variance/covariance techniques indicated sport participation, teaching/coaching experience, PE satisfaction and perceived PA competence were associated with changes in SPAP scores. Results suggest PCTs’ SPAP learning experiences should incorporate strategies for enhancing self-schemas and perceptions related to PE and PA.

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Renée M. Parker, Michael J. Lambert and Gary M. Burlingame

The present study was conducted to determine if female distance runners who report engaging in pathological food behaviors display the psychological characteristics of clinically diagnosed female eating-disordered patients. Comparisons were made among 29 eating-disturbed college runners, 31 normal college runners, 19 clinically diagnosed eating-disordered patients, and 34 nonathletic, non-eating-disordered college students. Measures included a 3-day diet journal, questionnaires collecting both personal information and information on eating behaviors and sports participation, the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI), the Setting Conditions for Anorexia Nervosa Scale (SCANS), and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Without reaching eating-disordered clinical levels, the eating-disturbed runners appeared on psychological inventories as being more concerned with food and dieting than were the comparison runners and non-eating-disordered nonathletes. Only the eating-disordered group presented with significant levels of psychopathology. Implications for the athletic community are discussed.

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Kathleen E. Miller and Joseph H. Hoffman

Past research has linked physical activity and sports participation with improved mental and social well-being, including reduced risk of depression and suicidality. In this study we examined relationships among several dimensions of athletic involvement (team sport participation, individual sport participation, athlete identity, and jock identity), gender, and depression and suicidal behavior in a sample of 791 undergraduate students. Both participation in a team sport and athlete identity were associated with lower depression scores. Athlete identity was also associated with lower odds of a past-year suicide attempt, whereas jock identity was associated with elevated odds of a suicide attempt. The findings are discussed in light of the relationship between mental well-being and a larger constellation of health-risk behaviors linked to a “toxic jock” identity.

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Koenraad J. Lindner

School children and youth from Primary Grade 5 to Secondary Grade 7 (average age range, 9 to 18 years) in Hong Kong completed a sports participation questionnaire and rated their own academic performance (AP). Results of ANOVAs indicated that frequency and extent of participation tended to be significantly higher for students with high self-ratings than for students with less satisfactory self-reported performance, and that this trend was significantly stronger in females than males and present in all age groups. The correlations between participation and AP were generally significant but low. These results indicate that those who perceive themselves to be the better achievers in academic subjects are as a group the more frequent participants, with stronger motives for involvement in sport and physical activity. A prevalent fear among parents and teachers in Hong Kong, that regular sport participation could threaten academic achievement, appears unfounded.

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Alexandre Magalhães, Elisabete Ramos and Maria Fátima Pina

Background:

Proximity to urban green spaces (UGS) and open sports spaces (OSS) benefits health, promotes physical activity (PA) and sports practice (SP).

Objective:

Analyze the association between PA or SP according to distances between UGS or OSS and teenagers’ residences or schools.

Methods:

We evaluated 1333 (53.9% girls) teenagers (13 years old) living and studying in Porto, Portugal (EPITeen cohort). PA was classified as light or moderate/vigorous. Distances were the shortest routes from residences or schools to UGS/OSS, and classified in ≤250 m; >250 m to ≤500 m; >500 m to ≤750 m; >750 m. Chi-square test and chi-square for trends were used to compare proportions; associations were measured using logistic regression, through odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals, adjusting to BMI and parental education.

Results:

Regarding vicinity’ of schools, the prevalence of moderate/vigorous PA among boys, decreases as distances to OSS increases. For girls, the prevalence of sports decreases as distances to UGS increase. For boys, we found an association between moderate/vigorous PA and proximity to OSS in the vicinity of schools: considering ≤250 m as reference, the odds of moderate/vigorous PA is 0.20 (0.06–0.63) for >250 m to ≤500 m; 0.21 (0.07–0.61) for >500 m to ≤750 m and 0.19 (0.06–0.58) for >750 m.

Conclusion:

Vicinities of schools seem to influence teenagers to be more physically active and increase sports participation.

Open access

Vincent O. Onywera, Stella K. Muthuri, Sylvester Hayker, Lucy-Joy M. Wachira, Florence Kyallo, Robert O. Mang’eni, Peter Bukhala and Caleb Mireri

Background:

Kenya’s 2016 report card aimed to highlight the health and well-being of Kenyan children and youth using the best available evidence on the physical activity of Kenyan children and youth. The report pointed at areas where Kenya was succeeding and areas where more action is required.

Methods:

Inclusive analyses of available data sources on the core indicators related to physical activity and body weights of Kenyan children and youth (5 to 17 years) were conducted. These were assigned grades based on a set of specific criteria.

Results:

Results show that Active Play, Active Transportation, Overweight and Obesity, and Sedentary Behavior were favorable with a grade of B. Overall Physical Activity, Organized Sport Participation, and School (infrastructure, policies, and programs) each received a grade of C, while Family and Peers, Government and Nongovernment organizations, as well as the Community and the Built Environment were assigned grade D.

Conclusions:

Over 72% of Kenyan children and youth use active transportation to and from school and in their daily lives. Although majority of the children and youth have normal body weight, there is need to ensure that they meet and maintain the physical activity levels recommended by the World Health Organization. More needs to be done especially in relation to the governmental and nongovernmental organizations, organized sports participation, as well as involvement of family and peers in promoting healthy active lifestyles among Kenyan children and youth. More representative data for all indicators are required in Kenya.

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Rebecca A. Seguin, Christina D. Economos, Ruth Palombo, Raymond Hyatt, Julia Kuder and Miriam E. Nelson

Background:

Despite the recognized health benefits, few older women participate in strength-training exercises.

Methods:

The purpose of this study was to examine factors related to older women’s adherence to strength training after participation in the Strong Women Program, a nationally disseminated community program. Adherence was defined as ≥4 months of twice-weekly strength training. Surveys were sent to 970 program participants from 23 states and to participants’ corresponding program leaders. Five-hundred fifty-seven participants responded (57%).

Results:

Of respondents who completed surveys (527), 79% (415) adhered to strength training; adherers reported a mean of 14.1 ± 9.1 months of strength training. Logistic-regression analysis revealed that exercise adherence was positively associated with age (p = .001), higher lifetime physical activity levels (p = .045), better perceived health (p = .003), leader’s sports participation (p = .028), and leader’s prior experience leading programs (p = .006).

Conclusion:

These data lend insight to factors that may be related to exercise adherence among midlife and older women.

Open access

Blanca Roman-Viñas, Jorge Marin, Mairena Sánchez-López, Susana Aznar, Rosaura Leis, Raquel Aparicio-Ugarriza, Helmut Schroder, Rocío Ortiz-Moncada, German Vicente, Marcela González-Gross and Lluís Serra-Majem

Background:

The first Active Healthy Kids Spanish Report Card aims to gather the most robust information about physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior of children and adolescents.

Methods:

A Research Working Group of experts on PA and sport sciences was convened. A comprehensive data search, based on a review of the literature, dissertations, gray literature, and experts’ nonpublished data, was conducted to identify the best sources to grade each indicator following the procedures and methodology outlined by the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card model.

Results:

Overall PA (based on objective and self-reported methods) was graded as D-, Organized Sports Participation as B, Active Play as C+, Active Transportation as C, Sedentary Behavior as D, School as C, and Family and Peers as Incomplete, Community and the Built Environment as Incomplete, and Government as Incomplete.

Conclusions:

Spanish children and adolescents showed low levels of adherence to PA and sedentary behavior guidelines, especially females and adolescents. There is a need to achieve consensus and harmonize methods to evaluate PA and sedentary behavior to monitor changes over time and to evaluate the effectiveness of policies to promote PA.