Sport Participation and Physical Activity in Adolescent Females across a Four-Year Period

Department of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, United States
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 3.61). 11/2006; 39(4):523-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2006.03.005
Source: PubMed


To determine the odds of engaging in future moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and vigorous physical activity (VPA) in adolescent female sport participants. A secondary purpose was to compare activity levels of three groups of girls, those who played sports at three time points, those who dropped out, and those who did not participate in sports.
Data were collected at three time points, eighth, ninth, and 12th grades, in 429 adolescent girls across the state of South Carolina. Demographic, sport participation and physical activity (PA) data were collected using surveys. Odds ratios were calculated to determine the association between sport participation and future PA behavior. PA was also compared for three sport participation groups (nonparticipants, dropouts, or three-year participants) using analysis of variance.
For MVPA, ninth grade participants were more likely to be active in 12th grade (OR = 1.74 [1.13, 2.67]), and eighth and ninth grade participants more likely to be active in 12th grade than nonparticipants (OR = 1.54 [confidence interval 1.01, 2.35]). For VPA, sport participants had higher odds of being active at all future time points. Three-year participants were significantly more vigorously active than nonparticipants and dropouts at all three time points (p < .01).
Adolescent girls who participate in sports in eighth, ninth, and 12th grades are more likely to be vigorously active in 12th grade. These findings are novel in providing evidence that sport participation contributes to overall vigorous physical activity during late adolescence, when overall physical activity is known to decline precipitously.

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Available from: Karin Pfeiffer, Feb 14, 2015
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    • "Numerous observational tools are available for measuring behavior specifically in sports settings (e.g., Castelliano et al., 2008; Darst, Zakrajsek, & Mancini, 1989), but none focus directly on PA as a primary process and/or outcome variable. Meanwhile, research on adult PA levels during leisure-time sports is rare, but participation in organized sport has been shown to be important for the health of youths (Geidne, Quennerstedt, & Eriksson, 2013) and has shown to be associated with their higher PA levels (e.g., Pate, Trost, Levin, & Dowda, 2000; Pfeiffer et al., 2006). For example, 12-to 14-year-old boys and girls have been shown to acquire about 60% of their daily MVPA in sport settings (Katzmarzyk, Walker, & Malina, 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous methods are available to assess physical activity (PA) but systematic observation (SO) excels in being able to provide contextually rich data on the setting in which the activity occurs. As SO is particularly useful for determining how activity is influenced by the immediate physical and social environments, its use is becoming more popular. Observation tools have the advantages of flexibility, high internal validity, low inference, and low participant burden, while their disadvantages include the need for careful observer training and recalibration, inaccessibility to certain environments, and potential participant reactivity. There is a need for both scientists and practitioners to have additional information on observation techniques and systems relative to making environmental and policy decisions about PA, and in this article, we describe concepts and identify questions related to using SO in researching PA behavior. We present 10 general questions in 3 sections, including those related to: (a) ensuring data accuracy through the selection of the most appropriate methodological protocols; (b) investigating PA in school settings, including physical education, recess, and other programs; and (c) investigating PA in community settings (e.g., parks, recreation centers, youth and adult sport programs) and homes.
    Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 03/2015; 86(1):13-29. DOI:10.1080/02701367.2015.991264
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    • "Unfortunately, there is a poor understanding as to why the physical activity levels of females are lower than males. It is well documented that females have high dropout rates in sport, physical education and recreational activity as they reach adolescence, which negatively impacts their overall physical activity levels (Pfeiffer et al., 2006; Sallis et al., 2000; Sallis, Prochaska, Taylor, Hill, & Geraci, 1999; Troiano et al., 2008). These high drop-out rates may help to explain the low rates of physical activity as young females' transition to adolescence. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the relationship between fundamental motor skills and physical activity in 6-9 year old females (n=25). Motor proficiency was assessed with the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 and physical activity was measured for 7 days with time-stamped pedometers. Participants took an average of 10573.4 steps per day and had motor skills that were below what would be expected for their age. Locomotor skills were positively associated with physical activity during the weekday (r=.487, p=.013) and during the after-school period of 3-6pm (r=.431, p=.032). Given the results, physical education teachers should capitalize on the school day, as well as after-school programming, as a time to improve both the motor skills and physical activity levels of young female students in order to lay the foundation for an active, healthy life.
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    • "First, we expected a positive impact of a moderate-to-vigorous exercise (here, moderate-to-vigorous exercise was defined as planned and continuous running without interruption at a speed such that conversation is not possible) training program on sleep [13] [16] as compared with a control condition. Second, following previous research [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18], we anticipated an improvement in psychological functioning (such as stress perception, curiosity, somatosensory amplification, mood, concentration, and sleepiness) in exercising adolescents as compared with control subjects. "
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    ABSTRACT: To compare sleep electroencephalographic patterns and psychological functioning of healthy adolescents running regularly in the mornings with those of control subjects. Although several studies have shown that regular moderate-to-vigorous exercise is related to favorable sleep and psychological functioning in adolescents, research on the effectiveness of short interventions is more limited. Fifty-one adolescents (mean age = 18.30 years; 27 female [53%]) took part in the study; they were randomly assigned either to a running or to a control group. The running group went running every morning for 30 minutes at moderate intensity during weekdays for 3 consecutive weeks. Sleep electroencephalographic patterns and psychological functioning were assessed in both groups before and after the 3-week period. All participants also kept a sleep log for 3 weeks. Objective sleep improved (slow-wave sleep increased; sleep onset latency decreased) in the running group compared with the control group. Subjective sleep quality, mood, and concentration during the day improved, whereas sleepiness during the day decreased. Thirty minutes of running in the morning during weekdays for 3 consecutive weeks impacted positively on sleep and psychological functioning in healthy adolescents compared with control subjects. Running is inexpensive and easy to implement during school schedules, and as both objective and subjective improvements were observed within 3 weeks, regular physical exercise should be promoted.
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