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Can J Public Health. 2009 Jan-Feb;100(1):60-4.

The effect of social support and school- and community-based sports on youth physical activity.

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  • 1Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine how social support, participation in intramurals, varsity and community sports are associated with physical activity among Ontario secondary school students, and explore gender differences in the prevalence of physical activity and participation in school- and community-based sports.

METHODS:

Data from 25,416 students (grades 9-12) attending 76 Ontario secondary schools were collected using the School Health Action, Planning, and Evaluation System (SHAPES). Logistic regression analyses examined how social support and school- and community-based sports participation were associated with physical activity.

RESULTS:

Males and females with low social support for physical activity were less likely to be active than their lower-risk peers (males: OR 0.61; females: OR 0.72). Males and females were more likely to be active if they participated in intramural activities (males: OR 1.92; females: OR 1.55), varsity sports (males: OR 1.93; females: OR 1.77), or community sports (males: OR 2.84; females: OR 2.90).

CONCLUSION:

Since students with low social support for physical activity were less likely to be active, interventions to increase support and engagement in physical activity should be targeted to these students. In addition, considering that participation in school- and community-based sports increases the likelihood that students were active, practitioners should seek to enhance opportunities for participation in and access to these programs in order to increase the level of activity obtained by students.

PMID:
19263986
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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