Youth sports participation is more important among females than males for predicting physical activity in early adulthood: Iowa bone development study

Soyang Kwon*, Elena M. Letuchy, Steven M. Levy, Kathleen F. Janz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A gender difference in youth sports and physical activity participation is well documented. However, research is limited to understand potential gender difference in the long-term effects of youth sports participation. The study aim was to compare the likelihood of meeting the aerobic Physical Activity Guidelines (PAG) in early adulthood by youth sports participation patterns among females and males. The study sample included 582 Iowa Bone Development Study participants (Iowa, USA). Participation in organized sports was assessed using a physical activity questionnaire 19 times on average between age 6 and 17 years. Accelerometer and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry assessments were conducted at an average age of 23 years. Group-based trajectory analysis was conducted to identify youth sports participation trajectory patterns. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the association between youth sports participation patterns and meeting the PAG in adulthood. We identified three youth sports participation patterns: “continuous participation,” “drop-out,” and “no participation.” Females in the continuous participation group were more likely to meet the aerobic PAG at age 23 years, compared to females in the no-participation group (OR = 2.63; 95% CI = 1.05, 6.55) or the drop-out group (OR = 2.55; 95% CI = 1.38, 4.69). However, among males, youth sports participation patterns were not significantly associated with meeting the aerobic PAG at age 23 years. In conclusion, this study suggests that youth sports participation could be more important among females than males for predicting physical activity in early adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1328
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

Keywords

  • Accelerometers
  • Adiposity
  • Athletics
  • Children and adolescents
  • DXA
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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