Past-year sports participation, current physical activity, and fitness in urban adolescent girls

Jennie A. Phillips, Deborah Rohm Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: This study examined associations between sports participation, physical activity, fitness level, and body mass index in ninth-grade girls. Methods: Data were analyzed for 221 participants who completed sports participation and physical activity recall questionnaires, an aerobic step test, and height and weight measurement. Results: On average, participants had low physical activity levels, and many were overweight or obese (47%). About half participated in at least one organized sport in the previous year. Sports participants had higher current estimated energy expenditure compared with non-sports participants (P = .0007). Those who participated on at least two teams were more likely to complete the three-stage step test without reaching their target heart rate than those who did not participate on any teams (P < .03). Past sports participation was positively associated with current physical activity and fitness levels. Conclusion: Urban adolescent girls who participate in sports have increased energy expenditure and higher fitness levels, indicating sports as a potential strategy to improve physical activity and health in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-111
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • African American
  • Energy expenditure
  • Females
  • High school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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