Well-being, physical fitness and health profile of 10-12 years old boys in relation to leisure-time sports club activities: A cross-sectional study

Malte Nejst Larsen*, Mads Madsen, Rasmus Cyril, Esben Elholm Madsen, Rune R. Lind, Knud Ryom, Søren Riis Christiansen, Anne Marie Elbe, Peter Krustrup

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Objectives This study investigated the correlation between sports club activities and well-being and physical health parameters in 10-12 years old boys. Design Cross sectional. Setting Danish schools. Participants 2293 boys took part in the study. Primary and secondary outcome measures Questionnaires on participation in sports clubs and well-being and testing of physical health profile through measurement of body composition, resting heart rate (RHR), blood pressure and postural balance, jump and Yo-Yo IR1C performance. Data were analysed by participation in sport and according to the five most frequently reported sports. Results Boys enrolled in sports clubs had higher physical well-being (51.7±9.7 vs 45.9±8.7) and psychological well-being (53.3±9.6 vs 51.4±10.0), experienced more peers and social support (50.9±9.9 vs 48.0±11.6), and had a more positive perception of the school environment (48.6±7.5 vs 45.9±8.1) than boys not involved in sports clubs. In addition, they showed better Yo-Yo IR1C (+46%), long jump (9%) and balance test performance (+20%). The boys active in sports clubs had higher relative muscle mass (+6%) and lower fat percentage (-3%), body mass index (-6%) and RHR (-5%) compared with boys not involved in sports clubs (p<0.05). Boys enrolled in football clubs had higher aerobic fitness compared with boys not active in clubs (+11%), handball players (+5%), swimmers (+8%) and badminton players (+7%). Moreover, the boys enrolled in football clubs had lower fat percentage (-17%) and higher relative muscle mass (+4%) than swimmers. Conclusion Boys participating in club-based sports showed markedly higher levels of well-being and better physical health profiles than boys not involved in sports club activities. Footballers had superior aerobic fitness and body composition compared with those active in other sports. Results suggest that sports club activities seem to be beneficial for young boys' well-being, fitness and physical health profile, with the greatest benefits achieved by boys involved in football.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere050194
JournalBMJ Open
Volume11
Issue number11
Number of pages8
ISSN2044-6055
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30. Nov 2021

Keywords

  • education & training (see medical education & training)
  • mental health
  • public health
  • Leisure Activities
  • Exercise
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Fitness
  • Child
  • Football

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