The Contribution of Youth Sport Football to Weekend Physical Activity for Males Aged 9 to 16 Years: Variability Related to Age and Playing Position

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The aims of this study were (1) to determine minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (PA) and vigorous PA accrued in youth sport football (also internationally referred to as soccer), and the contribution toward daily weekend moderate-to-vigorous PA and vigorous PA for males aged 9-16 years, and (2) to investigate variability in these outcomes related to age and playing position. One hundred and nine male grassroots footballers (Mean age = 11.98 ± 1.75 years) wore a GT3× accelerometer for 7 days. Weekend youth sport football participation and playing position were recorded. Youth sport football moderate-to-vigorous PA (M = 51.51 ± 17.99) and vigorous PA (M = 27.78 ± 14.55) contributed 60.27% and 70.68% toward daily weekend moderate-to-vigorous PA and vigorous PA, respectively. Overall, 36.70% of participants accumulated ≥60 min moderate-to-vigorous PA and 69.70% accrued ≥ 20 min of vigorous PA during youth sport. For participants aged 13 to16 years, youth sport football moderate-to-vigorous PA and vigorous PA were significantly higher, and contributed a greater amount toward daily weekend moderate-to-vigorous PA and vigorous PA than for participants aged 9-12 years (p = <.01). Youth sport football is an important source of moderate-to-vigorous PA and vigorous PA at the weekend for male youth, and particularly for adolescents. Participation may offer opportunity for weekend engagement in vigorous PA toward health enhancing levels.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-18
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Exercise Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2015