General Sports Participation rather than Amount or Intensity is Related to Body Composition among Healthy Adolescents

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Allgemeine Sportbeteiligung hat eher als die Investition oder die Intensität Bezug auf die Körperzusammensetzung bei gesunden Jugendlichen
Author:Schmidt, Steffen C.E. ; Krell, Janina; Bös, Klaus; Stahn, Alexander
Published in:International journal of sports science
Published:3 (2013), 6, S. 217-223 , Lit.
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Journal article
Media type: Electronic resource (online) Print resource
ISSN:2169-8759, 2169-8791
Online Access:
Identification number:PU201409009063

Author's abstract

Cross sectional and cohort studies on the relationship between physical activity (PA) and body composition reveal conflicting results that range from “no” to “moderate” effects. However, randomized trial studies show that PA affects body composition with relevant effect sizes if a) energy intake is controlled or b) amount of PA is very high. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between PA and body composition in a cross sectional sample by differentiating across general sports participation, amount, intensity and types of PA. 148 young adults (44 females, 104 males; age: 23.5 years) from a German student population completed a testing battery involving a standardized physical activity questionnaire and anthropometric measurements to assess BMI, waist-to-hip ratio and body fat percentage (BF%) using air-displacement plethysmography. Active subjects revealed a lower BF% (p<.01; males: ∆=2.3%, females: ∆=4.6%) than inactive ones. Work-related physical activity was positively correlated with BF% (rpart=.54) and had to be excluded from total PA to uncover a significant negative correlation between total PA and BF% (rpart=-.21). The results indicate the necessity to assess the type of PA in order to find small to moderate effects on body composition in collectives. We suggest that the expected negative correlation between PA and body fat only occurs if PA is linked to other factors regarding a healthy lifestyle like a balanced diet or performance and/or weight-loss oriented exercise. This could be the missing link between effect sizes in observational studies among broad collectives and performance and/or weight-loss oriented randomized trial experiments. Verf.-Referat