Special Issue "Physical Activity for Health in Youth"

A special issue of Sports (ISSN 2075-4663).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Lorayne Woodfield
Website
Guest Editor
Health and Behavioural Sciences, Newman University Birmingham, UK
Interests: physical activity; obesity; health; young people
Dr. Emma Powell
Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Education, Newman University Birmingham, UK
Dr. Peter Collins
Website
Guest Editor
University of Wolverhampton, UK

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Current levels of physical activity during childhood and adulthood are insufficient to maintain good health, so much so that physical inactivity is recognised as the fourth leading cause of global mortality. Furthermore, the prevalence of obesity- and inactivity-related health conditions, such as type II diabetes mellitus is increasing among youth populations. Physical inactivity during childhood is of particular interest as participation in physical activity during childhood can provide a number of physical, social and psychological benefits, and patterns of physical activity and healthy lifestyles acquired during childhood and adolescence are more likely to be maintained throughout the life-span.

Youth physical activity can occur in a variety of different settings through participation in structured forms of physical activity (such as physical education lessons, and school and community sport) and unstructured activities (including active commuting and freedom to play). As such, homes, schools, and community settings all have a role to play in contributing to, and increasing children’s and adolescents’ physical activity participation.

The aim of this Special Issue is to increase understanding of the associations between physical activity and health in youth with special consideration to the contributions made by different environments and organisations to physical activity participation. It is hoped that the sharing of knowledge may inform policy and practice to provide greater opportunities for children and adolescents to be physically active, which will benefit their health and life chances.

Dr. Lorayne Woodfield
Dr. Emma Powell
Dr. Peter Collins
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sports is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Physical activity
  • Exercise
  • Sport
  • Sedentary behaviour
  • Health
  • Well-being
  • Obesity
  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Youth
  • Environment
  • School
  • Home

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Daily and Weekly Variation in Children’s Physical Activity in Norway: A Cross-Sectional Study of The Health Oriented Pedagogical Project (HOPP)
Sports 2020, 8(11), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8110150 - 20 Nov 2020
Abstract
Background The purpose of the study was to examine differences in objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA min/day) and sedentary time (SED min/day) between different time domains as school hours, leisure time, and weekends. An additional objective addressed causal association between body mass [...] Read more.
Background The purpose of the study was to examine differences in objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA min/day) and sedentary time (SED min/day) between different time domains as school hours, leisure time, and weekends. An additional objective addressed causal association between body mass and MVPA. Methods. The study sample consisted of 2015 subjects (51% girls) aged 6–12 years (9.46 ± 1.76) from the Health Oriented Pedagogical Project (HOPP) in south-east Norway. Six days of MVPA min/day and SED min/day were measured using accelerometers and presented as daily averages. The differences in physical activity (PA) were investigated between the time domains of school-hours, leisure time and weekends by age and sex. Data were analyzed using one-and two-way ANOVA. Results. The relative contribution of the different time domains in overall PA was found. Daily average of MVPA min/day and SED min/day differed significantly across the three time domains. The average weekend SED was 56 ± 3.45 and 82 ± 4.12 min/day less when compared with school hours and leisure time, respectively. On average children spent 27 ± 2.74 min/day less in MVPA during school hours, compared with leisure time (p < 0.001), and spent by 38 ± 2.10 min/day more during weekends compared to school hours (p < 0.001). Boys were more physically active than girls, and less time was spent in MVPA with age. Conclusion. With the objective of increasing PA in a child population, the findings indicate that PA intervention programs should target children with higher body mass, girls more than boys, older children more than younger, and during school hours and leisure time more than on weekends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity for Health in Youth)
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Open AccessArticle
Daily School Physical Activity Is Associated with Higher Level of Physical Activity Independently of Other Socioecological Factors
Sports 2020, 8(8), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8080105 - 29 Jul 2020
Abstract
Only one fifth of children aged 11–17 years are physically active for 60 min (min)/day. As physical activity (PA) levels track from childhood to adulthood, it is important to establish healthy PA behavior early in life. This study aims to evaluate whether daily [...] Read more.
Only one fifth of children aged 11–17 years are physically active for 60 min (min)/day. As physical activity (PA) levels track from childhood to adulthood, it is important to establish healthy PA behavior early in life. This study aims to evaluate whether daily school PA is associated with objectively measured PA independently of other socioecological factors. This study includes 209 children (120 boys) aged 9.8 ± 0.6 (mean ± SD) years from four government-funded schools in Sweden. One school including 113 children (70 boys) had 40 min of daily school PA (intervention) and three schools including 96 children (50 boys) had 60 min of school PA/week (control). PA was measured during four serial days with accelerometers. General PA (GPA) was defined as mean counts per minute (cpm). Socioecological factors were collected by questionnaires, and anthropometric traits by measurements. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to test whether sex, age, relative age, body height, fat mass, lean mass, screen time activity, parental educational level, parental attitude towards PA, parental PA, sibling(s)’ PA, living in a house or apartment, and whether the child was allocated to 40 min daily school PA or 60 min school PA/week, was independently associated with GPA. Daily GPA was found to be 686.9 ± 211.9 cpm. Independently of the other included factors, daily school PA was associated with +81.8 (15.7, 147.8) cpm compared with 60 min PA/week. This study infers that daily school PA is an appropriate strategy to promote PA in 10-year-old children, independently of different socioecological factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity for Health in Youth)
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Open AccessArticle
Daily School Physical Activity Improves Academic Performance
Sports 2020, 8(6), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8060083 - 04 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Physical activity (PA) may improve brain development, cognition, concentration and academic performance. In this prospective controlled intervention study, we increased the level of PA in 338 children aged 6–8 years at study start, from the Swedish standard of 60 min per week to [...] Read more.
Physical activity (PA) may improve brain development, cognition, concentration and academic performance. In this prospective controlled intervention study, we increased the level of PA in 338 children aged 6–8 years at study start, from the Swedish standard of 60 min per week to 200 min per week (40 min daily). The intervention continued in all nine compulsory school years until the students graduated between 2007–2012. All other 689,881 Swedish children who graduated the same years were included as a control group. We registered at graduation eligibility rate for upper secondary school and the final grade score (from 0 to 320 grade points). We also registered the same end points in the 295 students in the index school and in all other 471,926 Swedish students who graduated in 2003–2006, that is, those who graduated before the intervention study started. Before the intervention, academic performance was similar among children in the index school as for all other Swedish boys and girls. With the intervention, the eligibility rate increased for boys in the index school by 7.3 percentage points and the mean grade scores by 13.3 points. This should be compared with a decrease of 0.8 percentage points in eligibility rate and an increase by 2.7 points in grade score in other Swedish boys. No changes were seen for intervention girls, neither in eligibility rates or grade scores. By introducing daily school-based PA in compulsory school, more boys would probably reach the eligibility rate for higher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity for Health in Youth)
Open AccessArticle
Daily School Physical Activity from before to after Puberty Improves Bone Mass and a Musculoskeletal Composite Risk Score for Fracture
Sports 2020, 8(4), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8040040 - 28 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This 7.5-year prospective controlled exercise intervention study assessed if daily school physical activity (PA), from before to after puberty, improved musculoskeletal traits. There were 63 boys and 34 girls in the intervention group (40 min PA/day), and 26 boys and 17 girls in [...] Read more.
This 7.5-year prospective controlled exercise intervention study assessed if daily school physical activity (PA), from before to after puberty, improved musculoskeletal traits. There were 63 boys and 34 girls in the intervention group (40 min PA/day), and 26 boys and 17 girls in the control group (60 min PA/week). We measured musculoskeletal traits at the start and end of the study. The overall musculoskeletal effect of PA was also estimated by a composite score (mean Z-score of the lumbar spine bone mineral content (BMC), bone area (BA), total body lean mass (TBLM), calcaneal ultrasound (speed of sound (SOS)), and muscle strength (knee flexion peak torque)). We used analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) for group comparisons. Compared to the gender-matched control group, intervention boys reached higher gains in BMC, BA, muscle strength, as well as in the composite score, and intervention girls higher gains in BMC, BA, SOS, as well as in the composite score (all p < 0.05, respectively). Our small sample study indicates that a daily school-based PA intervention program from Tanner stage 1 to 5 in both sexes is associated with greater bone mineral accrual, greater gain in bone size, and a greater gain in a musculoskeletal composite score for fractures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity for Health in Youth)
Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Wider Implementation of the SHARP Principles: Increasing Physical Activity in Primary Physical Education
Sports 2020, 8(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8010006 - 09 Jan 2020
Abstract
To assess the wider application of the SHARP (Stretching whilst moving, High repetition of skills, Accessibility, Reducing sitting and standing, and Promotion of physical activity) Principles intervention on children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in physical education (PE), when applied by teachers [...] Read more.
To assess the wider application of the SHARP (Stretching whilst moving, High repetition of skills, Accessibility, Reducing sitting and standing, and Promotion of physical activity) Principles intervention on children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in physical education (PE), when applied by teachers and coaches. A quasi-experimental intervention was employed in nine primary schools (experimental, n = 6: control, n = 3) including teachers (n = 10), coaches (n = 4), and children (aged 5 to 11 years, n = 84) in the West Midlands, UK. Practitioners applied the SHARP Principles to PE lessons, guided by an innovative behaviour change model. The System for Observing Fitness and Instruction Time (SOFIT) was used to measure children’s MVPA in 111 lessons at pre- (n = 60) and post-intervention (n = 51). Seven interviews were conducted post-intervention to explore practitioners’ perceptions. Two-way ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) revealed that teachers increased children’s MVPA by 27.7%. No statistically significant change in children’s MVPA was observed when taught by the coaches. The qualitative results for teachers were ‘children’s engagement’, a ‘pedagogical paradigm shift’, and ‘relatedness’; and for coaches ‘organisational culture’ and ‘insufficient support and motivation’. The SHARP Principles intervention is the most effective teaching strategy at increasing MVPA in primary PE when taught by school based staff (rather than outsourced coaches), evidencing increases almost double that of any previously published study internationally and demonstrating the capacity to influence educational policy and practice internationally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity for Health in Youth)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring Children’s Physical Activity Behaviours According to Location: A Mixed-Methods Case Study
Sports 2019, 7(11), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7110240 - 18 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The school environment is ideally placed to facilitate physical activity (PA) with numerous windows of opportunity from break and lunch times, to lesson times and extracurricular clubs. However, little is known about how children interact with the school environment to engage in PA [...] Read more.
The school environment is ideally placed to facilitate physical activity (PA) with numerous windows of opportunity from break and lunch times, to lesson times and extracurricular clubs. However, little is known about how children interact with the school environment to engage in PA and the other locations they visit daily, including time spent outside of the school environment i.e., evening and weekend locations. Moreover, there has been little research incorporating a mixed-methods approach that captures children’s voices alongside objectively tracking children’s PA patterns. The aim of this study was to explore children’s PA behaviours according to different locations. Sixty children (29 boys, 31 girls)—35 key stage 2 (aged 9–11) and 25 key stage 3 (aged 11–13)—wore an integrated global positioning systems (GPS) and heart rate (HR) monitor over four consecutive days. A subsample of children (n = 32) were invited to take part in one of six focus groups to further explore PA behaviours and identify barriers and facilitators to PA. Children also completed a PA diary. The KS2 children spent significantly more time outdoors than KS3 children (p = 0.009). Boys engaged in more light PA (LPA) when on foot and in school, compared with girls (p = 0.003). KS3 children engaged in significantly more moderate PA (MPA) at school than KS2 children (p = 0.006). Focus groups revealed fun, enjoyment, friends, and family to be associated with PA, and technology, costs, and weather to be barriers to PA. This mixed methodological study highlights differences in the PA patterns and perceptions of children according to age and gender. Future studies should utilize a multi-method approach to gain a greater insight into children’s PA patterns and inform future health policies that differentiate among a range of demographic groups of children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity for Health in Youth)
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Open AccessArticle
Does Perception of Motor Competence Mediate Associations between Motor Competence and Physical Activity in Early Years Children?
Sports 2019, 7(4), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7040077 - 01 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Objectives: To examine if the relationship between physical activity (PA) and actual motor competence (MC) in British early years children is mediated by their perceived MC. Design: Cross-sectional convenience observational study. Methodology: MC was assessed with six locomotor skills (LC) and six object-control [...] Read more.
Objectives: To examine if the relationship between physical activity (PA) and actual motor competence (MC) in British early years children is mediated by their perceived MC. Design: Cross-sectional convenience observational study. Methodology: MC was assessed with six locomotor skills (LC) and six object-control skills (OC) via the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. PA was measured via a wrist-worn triaxial accelerometer and PA grouped as daily total PA (TPA) and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). Perceived MC was assessed using the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Acceptance for Young Children. A total of 38 children (63% male; 37% female) aged between 3 and 6 years (5.41 ± 0.69) completed all assessments. Mediating impacts of perceived MC on the relationships between PA and MC were explored via backwards mediation regressions. Results: There were no mediating impacts of perceived MC on the relationship between PA and actual MC. Conclusions: The relationship between actual MC and PA is not mediated by perceived MC in a small sample of British early years childhood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity for Health in Youth)
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