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Open AccessArticle

Exploratory Determined Correlates of Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents: The MoMo Study

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Institute of Sports and Sports Science, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
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Institute of Human Movement Science and Health, Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Technical University of Chemnitz, 09111 Chemnitz, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030415
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 27 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
Background: Physical activity is an important contributor to reducing the risk for a variety of diseases. Understanding why people are physically active contributes to evidence-based planning of public health interventions because successful actions will target factors known to be related to physical activity (PA). Therefore the aim of this study is to identify the most meaningful correlates of PA in children and adolescents using a large, representative data set. Methods: Among n = 3539 (1801 boys) 6 to 17-year-old participants of the German representative Motorik-Modul baseline study (2003–2006) a total of 1154 different demographic, psychological, behavioral, biological, social and environmental factors were ranked according to their power of predicting PA using least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regressions. Results: A total of 18 (in girls) and 19 (in boys) important PA predictors from different, personal, social and environmental factors have been identified and ranked by LASSO. Peer modeling and physical self-concept were identified as the strongest correlates of PA in both boys and girls. Conclusions: The results confirm that PA interventions must target changes in different categories of PA correlates, but we suggest to focus particularly on the social environment and physical self-concept for interventions targeting children and adolescents in Germany nowadays. We also strongly recommend to repeatedly track correlates of PA, at least every 10 years, from representative samples in order to tailor contemporary PA interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical activity; correlates; children; adolescents; MoMo study; LASSO physical activity; correlates; children; adolescents; MoMo study; LASSO
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Schmidt, S.C.; Schneider, J.; Reimers, A.K.; Niessner, C.; Woll, A. Exploratory Determined Correlates of Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents: The MoMo Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 415.

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