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Does Sports Club Participation Contribute to Health-Related Quality of Life?


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2010 - Volume 42 - Issue 5 - p 1022-1028
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c3adaa
Applied Sciences

Given the social nature of participation in sport, we hypothesized that club sports participants would have greater well-being and quality of life than participants in other forms of physical activity (PA).

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine health-related quality of life and life satisfaction in women who participate in three contrasting forms of PA: club sport, gym activities, and walking.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of the relationship between type of PA setting and measures of health-related quality of life (Short-Form Health Survey [SF-36]) and life satisfaction in 818 women living in rural Victoria, Australia, in 2007. Data were also compared with those from a normative sample of 2345 women.

Results: After adjustment for potential confounders (age, education, marital status, children aged <16 yr, perceived financial stress, and level of recreational PA), four of the eight SF-36 subscales, the SF-36 mental health component summary score, and life satisfaction were significantly higher in the club sport group than that in the other groups.

Conclusion: Although cross-sectional research cannot establish causal links, the results suggest that participation in club sport may enhance the health benefits of PA.

1School of Human Movement and Sport Sciences, University of Ballarat, Ballarat, AUSTRALIA; and 2School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA

Submitted for publication February 2009.

Accepted for publication September 2009.

Address for correspondence: Warren Payne, Ph.D., School of Human Movement and Sport Sciences, University of Ballarat, PO Box 663, Ballarat, Victoria 3353, Australia; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Sports Medicine