Translation of Physical Activity from Adolescence to Adulthood in Women: Investigating the Relationship Between Adolescent Engagement in Coordination and Performance Activities and Adult Physical Activity Levels
Physical activity has been shown to be effective in primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease (Warburton, Nicol & Bredin, 2006). Women tend to be much less active than males and are henceforth at a greater risk for developing these conditions (Biddle & Mutrie, 2008). This study addresses what impact type of physical activity in adolescence has on adult physical activity levels in the female population. Specifically, the study focuses on coordination and performance activities in adolescence, and how adult physical activity levels compare to both sedentary adolescents and adolescent endurance and ball sport athletes. Ninety-six female participants that were ages 20-29 (N=53) and 30-39 (N=43) were asked to fill out a survey about their adolescent activity levels and their current activity levels. Those participants who identified as participating in coordination and performance activity (N=43) were compared to those who were sedentary (N=14) and then further compared to those who engaged in other types of adolescent activity (N=39). It was determined that coordination and performance activities during adolescence did have a significant effect on frequency of female adult physical activity when compared to their sedentary counterparts (p=0.015). Adolescent endurance and ball sport athletes did tend to have a greater frequency of current activity in adulthood than those involved in coordination and performance activities, which was attributed to a greater frequency of practice per week in those sports. In conclusion, introducing a frequent amount of physical activity the female adolescent enjoys increases their likelihood of frequently engaging in physical activity as an adult.