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Longitudinal Changes in Types of Physical Activities of Girls from 8th to 12th Grade: 9238:45 AM – 9:00 AM

Grubb, Jennifer R.; Dowda, Marsha; Pate, Russell R. FACSM

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2006 - Volume 38 - Issue 5 - p S81
Presidential Closing Remarks 12:05 PM – 12:15 PM: Immediately Following President's Lectures ROOM: Ballroom 2/3 and Ballroom 1: E-15 Free Communication/Slide – Children: Physical Activity and Health: FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 2006 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM ROOM: 301

University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC


Supported by NIH Grant RO1HL057775.

Physical activity levels of girls decline in adolescence, but little is known about the changes in types of activities girls perform.

PURPOSE: To describe longitudinal changes in the types of activities performed by adolescent girls from 8th to 12th grade.

METHODS: 398 girls from 31 middle schools and 22 high schools completed the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall (3DPAR) in 8th, 9th, and 12thgrades (13.6 ± 0.6 years at baseline, 58.5% black). Girls reported their predominant activity (from a list of 55 activities) and its intensity level (light, moderate, hard, or very hard) in each of the 30-minute blocks from 7 am to 12 am on the previous 3 days. The activities examined in this analysis were categorized as Leisure Time Sedentary (e.g., television, computer), Educational Sedentary (e.g. homework), Sport Teams (e.g., basketball, soccer), Individual Activity (e.g., dance, bicycling, running), Job, and Travel by Car or Bus. The mean number of blocks in which girls reported each activity over the 3 days, and whether they reported a daily average of 1 or more blocks of vigorous physical activity (VPA) were calculated. Repeated measure 2-way ANOVA (time by race) was performed, with school as a random variable.

RESULTS: Overall, fewer black girls participated in VPA than white girls. The prevalence of participation in VPA decreased in both black (39.1% to 31.2%) and white girls (54.1% to 38.2%) from 8th to 12th grade (p=.002). There was a decrease in the mean number of blocks of Sport Teams (1.0 ± 0.1 to 0.4 ± 0.1), Individual Activity (0.8 ± 0.1 to 0.5 ±0.1), Leisure Time Sedentary (7.5 ±0.3 to 6.9 ±0.2), and Educational Sedentary (2.0 ±0.2 to 1.4 ±0.1) for all girls from 8th to 12th grade. However, there was an increase in Job (0.2 ± 0.1 to 3.1 ± 0.1) and Traveling by Car or Bus (1.6 ± 0.1 to 2.4 ± 0.1) for all girls from 8th to 12th grade. Activities with the largest decline from 8th to 12th grade were basketball (29.9% to 6.4%), bicycling (13.2% to 3.5%), and running (20.2% to 10.0%) (p <.05). Significant odds ratios showed girls who participated in basketball (3.3), bicycling (5.4), dance (10.3), running (3.5), soccer (24.1), softball/baseball (5.2), and walking (2.5) in 8th grade were more likely to participate in the same activities in 12th grade compared to girls who did not participate in those activities in 8th grade.

CONCLUSIONS: Girls decreased their participation in Sport Teams, Individual Activity, and Leisure Time Sedentary, but increased Job and Traveling by Car or Bus from 8th to 12th grade. Girls who participated in activities in the Sport Teams and Individual Activity categories in 8th grade were more likely to report the same activities in 12thgrade.

© 2006 American College of Sports Medicine