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Article

Association between Club Sports Participation and Physical Fitness across 6- to 14-Year-Old Austrian Youth

1
Division of Physical Education, University of Education Upper Austria, 4020 Linz, Austria
2
Division of Physical Education, Private University of Education (KPH-ES), 6422 Stams, Austria
3
Department of Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3392; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16183392
Received: 23 August 2019 / Revised: 9 September 2019 / Accepted: 11 September 2019 / Published: 12 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
Changes in social and built environments most likely contribute to a decline in physical activity (PA) and physical fitness in children and adolescents. Organized sports may be an important component in ensuring adequate fitness, which is an important aspect in general health and well-being. The present study examines differences by club sports participation in cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, power, speed, agility, flexibility and balance in 3293 (55.1% male) Austrian children and adolescents between 6 and 14 years of age. Anthropometric measurements (height and weight) were taken and participants completed the German motor test during regular class time. Even though there was no significant difference in body weight between club sports participants and non-club sports participants, club sports participation was associated with higher physical fitness, particularly regarding endurance, strength, power, and agility. Differences by club sports participation, however, declined during the elementary school years (6–10 years of age), while they became more pronounced during middle school years (10–14 years of age). Club sports participation, therefore, may be a viable option in the promotion of physical fitness, particularly during adolescence. At younger ages, other sources of PA, such as physical education and free play, however, should be considered to ensure sufficient fitness levels that contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle. View Full-Text
Keywords: cardiorespiratory endurance; strength; power; agility; body weight; children; adolescents; physical activity cardiorespiratory endurance; strength; power; agility; body weight; children; adolescents; physical activity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Drenowatz, C.; Greier, K.; Ruedl, G.; Kopp, M. Association between Club Sports Participation and Physical Fitness across 6- to 14-Year-Old Austrian Youth. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3392. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16183392

AMA Style

Drenowatz C, Greier K, Ruedl G, Kopp M. Association between Club Sports Participation and Physical Fitness across 6- to 14-Year-Old Austrian Youth. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(18):3392. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16183392

Chicago/Turabian Style

Drenowatz, Clemens, Klaus Greier, Gerhard Ruedl, and Martin Kopp. 2019. "Association between Club Sports Participation and Physical Fitness across 6- to 14-Year-Old Austrian Youth" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 18: 3392. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16183392

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