Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sports participation does not guarantee that children get enough physical activity

Date:
December 9, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Only about one-fourth of children participating in organized sports -- such as baseball, softball or soccer -- receive the government-recommended amount of physical activity during team practices, according to a new study.

Only about one-fourth of children participating in organized sports -- such as baseball, softball or soccer -- receive the government-recommended amount of physical activity during team practices, according to a report posted online that will appear in the April 2011 print issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

National guidelines recommend that children and teens perform 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day, but fewer than half of children and 10 percent of teens meet these guidelines, according to background information in the article. "The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends youth sports as a means of obtaining physical activity as well as social benefits," the authors write, and an estimated 44 million American youth participate in an organized sports program. "Although intensity values in the moderate to vigorous range are obtained while playing common youth sports, it is not clear how much physical activity is provided by youth sports practices, as much of the time may be inactive, such as receiving verbal instruction and waiting for turns."

Desiree Leek, B.S., of San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego, and colleagues documented physical activity among 200 youth age 7 to 14 who played on 29 soccer, baseball or softball teams. Participating athletes wore accelerometers -- sensors that measure physical activity -- around their waists during practices. Parents filled out surveys with information about demographics of the family as well as details about the children's age, racial/ethnic background, height and weight.

Overall, 24 percent of participants met the 60-minute physical activity recommendation during practice. Rates differed by sport and age group. Fewer than 10 percent of participants age 11 to 14 years and fewer than 2 percent of girl softball players reached the guideline.

The lengths of the practices ranged from 40 to 130 minutes for soccer and 35 to 217 minutes for baseball/softball. Participating youth were moderately to vigorously active for 45.1 minutes, 46.1 percent of the practice time. Soccer players were active for an average of 13.7 more minutes and 10.6 percent more of practice time than baseball or softball players. Boys were active 10.7 more minutes and 7.8 percent more of practice time than girls. Younger athletes (age 7 to 10) spent 7 more minutes and 5.8 percent more of practice time in moderate to vigorous physical activity than those age 11 to 14.

The youth sports players spent an average of 30 minutes being inactive during each practice, the authors note. "Thus, there clearly are opportunities to increase physical activity in youth sports," they write. "Based on current findings, it appears that youth sports practices are making a less-than-optimal contribution to the public health goals of increasing physical activity and preventing childhood obesity."

"The health effects of youth sports could be improved by adopting policies and practices that ensure youth obtain sufficient physical activity during practices: emphasizing participation over competition, sponsoring teams for all skill levels across all ages, ensuring access by lower-income youth with sliding scales for fees, increasing practice frequency, extending short seasons, using pedometers or accelerometers to monitor physical activity periodically during practices, providing coaches strategies to increase physical activity and supporting youth and parents in obtaining adequate physical activity on non-practice days."

Editorial: Youth Sports Programs Vary in Activity Levels

"There is a need for more research on the amounts and intensities of physical activity that American youth accrue during the most common sports and structured recreational activities," write Russell R. Pate, Ph.D., and Jennifer R. O'Neill, Ph.D., M.P.H., of University of South Carolina, Columbia, in an accompanying editorial. "This would include not only organized team sports but also dance lessons (e.g., ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap) and outdoor activity programs (e.g., rock climbing, cycling, canoeing, kayaking)."

"Further and perhaps most importantly, we need to learn ways in which the doses of physical activity provided during youth sports and activity programs can be most effectively increased by modifying the manner in which the practices and contests are conducted."

"School physical education, informal physical activity in home or neighborhood settings and active transport to and from school can and should be important sources of physical activity for most American youth," they conclude. "Providing young people with the physical activity they need is one of the major public health challenges of the 21st century. Available evidence indicates that sports programs can make an important contribution but probably cannot be the singular solution to this challenge."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Desiree Leek; Jordan A. Carlson; Kelli L. Cain; Sara Henrichon; Dori Rosenberg; Kevin Patrick; James F. Sallis. Physical Activity During Youth Sports Practices. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 2010; DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.252
  2. Russell R. Pate; Jennifer R. O'Neill. Youth Sports Programs: Contribution to Physical Activity. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 2010; DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.245

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Sports participation does not guarantee that children get enough physical activity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101206161730.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, December 9). Sports participation does not guarantee that children get enough physical activity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101206161730.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Sports participation does not guarantee that children get enough physical activity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101206161730.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins