In search of consistent predictors of children's physical activity

Keren Best, Kylie Ball, Dorota M. Zarnowiecki, Rebecca Megan Stanley, James Dollman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Physical activity is pivotal for childrentionnalth and well-being, yet participation declines across teenage years. Efforts to increase physical activity need to be strengthened to combat this,however, evidence for the design and planning of physical activity promotion in children is lacking. The aim was to identify predictors of physical activity that were relatively consistent across three different measures of physical activity, in pre- and early adolescent South Australians. This is the first study to compare correlates of physical activity across three measures of physical activity in a single sample, in this age group. Children (n = 324) aged 9-13 years and their parents were surveyed on personal, interpersonal and environmental correlates of physical activity. Child physical activity was objectively measured using pedometers (7 days). Self-reported physical activity was determined from organised sport participation and the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents. Regression models were used to identify consistent predictors of three physical activity measures. Consistent predictors across multiple physical activity measures were: Parent support for physical activity, having appropriate clothing for sport, enjoyment of physical activity and perceived availability of sporting clubs. These predictors identify potential avenues for directing intervention efforts to increase physical activity in early adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1258
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2017


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Correlates
  • Health promotion
  • Physical activity
  • Predictor
  • Social ecological model
  • Sport


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