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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.

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Mary Jo Kane

This study examined the impact of Title IX on media coverage given to female athletes to determine if there has been a shift away from negative social stereotypes traditionally associated with women’s sports participation toward a more socially accepting view of the female athlete. A content analysis of feature articles within 1,228 issues of Sports Illustrated was undertaken for the years 1964-1987. These represented three 8-year time spans before (1964-71), during (1972-79), and after (1980-87) Title IX. In order to assess whether attitudes have changed toward female athletes as related to a Title IX timeline, amount and type of coverage were considered. Chi-square analyses revealed mixed results. There was a significant increase in the proportion of coverage given to women in athletic (e.g., professional golfer) versus nonathletic (e.g., swimsuit model) roles. However, feature articles about female athletes gave significantly more coverage to women in "sex-appropriate" sports such as tennis versus "sex-inappropriate" sports such as rugby, regardless of the Title IX time frame. Results are discussed in terms of challenging current beliefs that women’s athletics have gained widespread social acceptance following the enactment of Tide IX. Implications for practitioners and academics within sport management are presented.

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Diane M. Wiese-Bjornstal, Ayanna N. Franklin, Tara N. Dooley, Monique A. Foster and James B. Winges

Injuries contrast with the overwhelmingly positive benefits of sports participation for female athletes, with estimates of a third or more of all female athletes sustaining injury in any given season. Media headlines convey the impression that female athletes are more vulnerable to sports injuries than male athletes are. This observation led to our first purpose, which was to use evidence from the sports injury surveillance literature to examine the facts about female athlete risks of injury and compare these risks to those of male athletes. In light of Gill and Kamphoff’s (2010) observation that we largely ignore or underrepresent female experiences in the sport and exercise psychology literature, our second purpose was to highlight examples of the psychological, behavioral, and social aspects of female athletes’ injury experiences, and provide comparisons to male experiences within this realm of sports medicine psychology. These evidence-based observations guide our concluding recommendations for injury reporting, prevention, and rehabilitation roles of those in the media and sports professions.

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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.

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David R. Bassett, Dinesh John, Scott A. Conger, Eugene C. Fitzhugh and Dawn P. Coe

Background:

Increases in childhood and adolescent obesity are a growing concern in the United States (U.S.), and in most countries throughout the world. Declines in physical activity are often postulated to have contributed to the rise in obesity rates during the past 40 years.

Methods:

We searched for studies of trends in physical activity and sedentary behaviors of U.S. youth, using nontraditional data sources. Literature searches were conducted for active commuting, physical education, high-school sports, and outdoor play. In addition, trends in sedentary behaviors were examined.

Results:

Data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) and other national surveys, as well as longitudinal studies in the transportation, education, electronic media, and recreation sectors showed evidence of changes in several indicators. Active commuting, high school physical education, and outdoor play (in 3- to 12-year-olds) declined over time, while sports participation in high school girls increased from 1971 to 2012. In addition, electronic entertainment and computer use increased during the first decade of the 21st century.

Conclusions:

Technological and societal changes have impacted the types of physical activities performed by U.S. youth. These data are helpful in understanding the factors associated with the rise in obesity, and in proposing potential solutions.

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Stephanie E. Bonn, Lars Alfredsson, Saedis Saevarsdottir and Maria E.C. Schelin

Background:

Effective interventions are needed to increase physical activity in the general population. To target interventions, we need knowledge of insufficiently active groups in society. This study aims to identify demographic and health-related correlates of leisure-time physical inactivity in a general Scandinavian population.

Methods:

Study participants comprised 5734 control subjects, age 18 to 70 years, from 2 ongoing Swedish case-control studies. Participants self-reported their leisure-time physical activity level. The odds of being physically inactive were calculated using logistic regression.

Results:

A total of 42% of participants were classified as physically inactive during leisure time. A lower prevalence of inactivity was associated with middle age, higher education, having previous experience of sports participation, following a low glycemic index/Mediterranean diet and having a light physical workload. A high prevalence of inactivity was associated with greater age, high body mass index, smoking, never drinking alcohol, having children, having a weak social network or lower levels of emotional support, and a low vegetable intake.

Conclusions:

Several factors were associated with leisure-time physical inactivity. Directing interventions to target groups defined by specific factors associated with physical inactivity could be an efficient way to increase activity and improve health in the general population.

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Marijke Taks and Stefan Késenne

This study measures the share of the sports sector in the regional economy of Flanders by means of expenditure related to active sports participation and spectator sport. In contrast with the more common cost-benefit approach, the perspective of this study is rather macroeconomic. A representative sample of 512 households was interviewed by means of a standardized questionnaire. Data on government expenditure were gathered from an analysis of budgets and bills. Private investments and the balance of trade statistics were estimated. All these expenditures, $4.3 billion U.S., constitute the Gross Regional Sport Product for Flanders. During the past 15 years, household expenditure in sport has increased, while government expenditure has stagnated. However, government intervention remains necessary for setting up the legal context, financing the construction and maintenance of a rich variety of sports facilities, and for lowering the price threshold for low-income families. This study has shown the importance of the sports sector for the Flemish economy, mainly through household expenditure.

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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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Catherine Draper, Susan Basset, Anniza de Villiers, Estelle V. Lambert and the HAKSA Writing Group

Background:

There is current concern for the health and well-being of children and youth in South Africa, including habits of physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior. The 2014 Healthy Active Kids South Africa Report Card evaluates the current activity status of children and youth.

Methods:

The Research Working Group was comprised of 23 experts in physical education, nutrition, sport science, public health and journalism. The search was based on a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature (previous 5 years), dissertations, and nonpeer-reviewed reports (‘gray’ literature) dealing with the PA and nutritional status of South African children and youth 6−18 years of age. Key indicators were identified and data extracted. Grades for each indicator were discussed and assigned.

Results:

Overall PA levels received a D grade, as roughly 50% or more of children and youth were not meeting recommended levels. Organized sports participation fared better with a C, and government policies were promising, receiving a B. Screen time and sedentary behavior were a major concern and received a grade of F. Under- and over-weight were highlighted, but overweight is on the rise and this indicator was assigned a D grade. Most of the other indicators in South Africa remained the same or became worse so that grades declined from C- to D. In particular, sedentary behavior, soft-drink and fast food consumption, and an ineffectual regulatory environment to control advertising to children were a concern. There is need to engage parents and communities for advocacy and social mobilization.