Inter-participant variability in daily physical activity and sedentary time among male youth sport footballers: independent associations with indicators of adiposity and cardiorespiratory fitness

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Participation in youth sport is assumed to promote and contribute towards more physically active lifestyles among children and adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine inter-participant variability in objectively measured habitual physical activity (PA) behaviours and sedentary time among youth sport participants and their implications for health. One-hundred-and-eighteen male youth sport footballers (Mean ± s = 11.72 ± 1.60) wore a GT3X accelerometer for 7 days. Average daily PA [min · day(-1), in light (LPA), moderate (MPA), vigorous (VPA) and combined moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA)] and sedentary time were calculated. Participants' body mass index adjusted for age and sex (BMI-standard deviation score), per cent body fat (BF%), waist circumference and cardiorespiratory fitness were assessed. Results revealed that variability in daily PA behaviours and sedentary time (min · day(-1)) was associated with BMI-standard deviation score [VPA (-), MVPA (-)], BF% [sedentary time (+), VPA (-), MVPA (-)], waist circumference [sedentary time (+), LPA (-)] and cardiorespiratory fitness [sedentary time (-), MPA (+), VPA (+), MVPA (+)]. Whilst sedentary time and MVPA were not related to health outcomes independent of one another, associations with markers of adiposity and cardiorespiratory fitness were stronger for sedentary time. Sedentary time was also significantly positively related to waist circumference independent of VPA. Results demonstrate inter-participant variability in habitual PA and sedentary time among youth sport participants which holds implications for their health. Thus, promoting PA and, in particular, reducing sedentary time may contribute towards the prevention of adverse health consequences associated with a physically inactive lifestyle for children and adolescents active in the youth sport context.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Early online date21 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015