Author(s): Mandic S, Bengoechea EG, Stevens E, de la Barra SL, Skidmore P
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Reduced time dedicated to physical education and free play in recent decades emphasizes the need to promote opportunities for sport participation in adolescents in order to increase physical activity levels. The purpose of this study was to examine the association of sociodemographic and biological characteristics, behavioural patterns, and school-related and sport-specific variables with time spent participating in sport. METHODS: A total of 1837 secondary school students (age: 14.6 ± 1.2 years; 50.9 \% boys) from 19 of 23 schools in the Otago Region (New Zealand) completed an online sport survey and Youth Physical Activity Questionnaire in 2009. Using multilevel modeling, we examined the association of individual-, school- and sport-related variables on sport participation and the amount of time spent in sports. RESULTS: Higher rates of sport participation were associated with lower neighbourhood deprivation scores (OR (95\%CI): 0.75 (0.49-1.14), 0.57 (0.38-0.86), 0.48 (0.28-0.81)), higher quintiles of physical activity (2.89 (2.10-3.96), 2.81 (1.68-4.70), 3.54 (2.24-5.57), 3.97 (1.99-7.95)), highest quintiles of screen time (1.58 (0.94-2.65), 1.99 (1.42-2.80), 2.17 (1.43-3.30), 1.88 (1.37-2.57)) and boys only school status (2.21 (1.57-3.10)). Greater amount of time spent in sports was associated with male gender (0.56 (0.43-0.74), lower neighbourhood deprivation scores (0.72 (0.59-0.93), 0.78 (0.58-1.04), 0.62 (0.39-1.00)), higher quintiles of physical activity (3.18 (2.29-4.41), 4.25 (2.91-6.20), 8.33 (5.58-12.44), 6.58 (4.07-10.64)), highest quintile of screen time (1.83 (1.31-2.56), greater availability of sports outside school (1.68 (1.22-2.32)), better sport management (2.57 (1.63-4.07)) and provision of sport courts at school (0.57 (0.40-0.81)). Conversely, obesity was associated with less time spent participating in sport (0.50 (0.31-0.80)). CONCLUSION: Results support the use of sport participation as an effective strategy to increase physical activity levels and identify target groups and areas for interventions, program design and policy development. Interventions should focus on improving accessibility to sport programs for all adolescents, providing adequate sport grounds at school, and promoting good sport management practices. Programs and policies encouraging sport participation should address in particular the needs of adolescents living in deprived neighborhoods, those attending coeducational and girls-only schools, and those who are obese.
This article was published in Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
and referenced in Air & Water Borne Diseases