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The importance of attitudes towards physical activity and its relationship with practice of physical activity
  1. Adilson Marques1,
  2. João Martins1,
  3. Maria Martins1,
  4. João Costa1,
  5. Hugo Sarmento2,
  6. Marcos Onofre1,
  7. Francisco Carreiro da Costa1
  1. 1Faculty of Human Kinetics, Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
  2. 2University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal


The purpose of this study was to examine the importance given by children to physical activity (PA) and its relationship with the practice of formal PA as well as the perception of parents' participation. A total of 416 boys and 386 girls aged between 10 and 12 y, participated in the study. Data was collected using a questionnaire used on international research project on children's lifestyles. T-test was used to identify the difference of attitudes towards PA by gender and practice of PA. ANOVA was performed to analyse the attitude and parents participation. Significance level was p<0.05. On a scale ranged from 1 to 10, most students showed a positive attitude towards PA (M=9.1). The difference between boys (M=9.2) and girls (M=8.9) was significant (p=0.021). Pupils with higher attitude towards PA were more involved in formal PA than those with lower attitude (9.3 vs 8.8, p<0.001), whether for boys (9.4 vs 8.9, p=0.001) or girls (9.3 vs 8.7, p<0.001). The mean value for the attitude towards PA was not significant when we consider the difference among those who perceive that parents were active or inactive (p=0.482). However, a trend was observed: those whose either parents or only the mother was active showed a higher attitude towards PA. PA seems to be something that most of kids like, but those who were involved with a formal PA in a club showed a higher attitude towards PA. The perception of parents' participation in PA seems to be associated with a favourable attitude toward PA.

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