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Sports participation increased in Spain: a population-based time trend study of 21 381 adults in the years 2000, 2005 and 2010
  1. Domingo Palacios-Ceña1,
  2. Cesar Fernandez-de-las-Peñas2,
  3. Valentín Hernández-Barrera3,
  4. Rodrigo Jiménez-Garcia4,
  5. Cristina Alonso-Blanco1,
  6. Pilar Carrasco-Garrido4
  1. 1Department of Health Science II, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Alcorcon, Madrid, Spain
  2. 2Department of Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Alcor, Madrid, Spain
  3. 3Preventive Medicine and Public Health Teaching and Research Unit, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Alcorcon, Spain
  4. 4School of Public Health, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Alcorcon, Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Domingo Palacios Ceña, Departamental II, Despacho 1008, Facultad Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Avenida de Atenas, s/n. 28922, Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain; domingo.palacios{at}


Objective To assess the trend in prevalence of Spanish adults who engaged in sports activities from 2000 to 2010.

Design Retrospective analysis of three population-based cross-sectional surveys conducted on a representative sample of Spanish adults: 2000 (N=5160), 2005 (N=8170) and 2010 (N=8925).

Results The overall prevalence of sport-active men increased from 45.8% to 52.12% between 2000 and 2010. Among women the prevalence also increased from 27.26% to 33.27% (adjusted OR 1.03 95% CI 1.02 to 1.04). A significant decrease in the prevalence of sport-active subjects was found as the age increases. Adjusted time trends analysis showed that the prevalence of sport-active women and men increased over time in all age groups, with exception of women aged 15–25 years (adjusted OR 0.99, 0.97 to 1.01). Higher educational level was associated with more sport activity. The first reason for not practising sport was ‘I have no time due to working or studying’. Less than 10% of women and men reported health problems as the reason for not practising any sport.

Conclusions Sports participation in Spain has increased between 2000 and 2010 among young-aged and middle-aged adults and decreased among older people. Women showed lower prevalence of sport activity as compared to men.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.