Journal of Public Health

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 505–513 | Cite as

Physical activity in sports clubs of children and adolescents in Germany: results from a nationwide representative survey

  • Darko JekaucEmail author
  • Anne Kerstin Reimers
  • Matthias Oliver Wagner
  • Alexander Woll
Original Article



A substantial proportion of children’s and adolescent’s physical activity takes place in organised sports clubs in Germany. The purpose of this study was to describe (1) the proportion of children and adolescents who are members of sports clubs and the amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) performed in these clubs, and to identify socio-demographic predictors of (2) membership and (3) the amount of MVPA in sports clubs in Germany.

Subjects and methods

The sample consisted of 4,529 boys (50.5 %) and girls (49.5 %) aged between 4 and 17 years (M = 11.3; SD = 4.1). MVPA was assessed by a questionnaire. Socioeconomic status, immigration background, and residential area were assessed using a parent questionnaire.


52.0 % of the girls and 63.1 % of the boys were members in sports clubs who exercised on average for 4 h per week with moderate to high intensity. The logistic regression analyses showed that gender, socioeconomic status, migration background and residential area were significant predictors of membership in sports clubs. The amount of MVPA was only significantly predicted by age, gender and residential area.


The results of this study imply that sports clubs have a high potential for implementation of strategies to increase general levels of physical activity.


Physical activity Sports club Children Adolescents Germany 



This study was funded by a project grant from the German Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) and by the German Bundesministerium für Gesundheit (Federal Ministry of Health). We thank all the adolescents who participated in this study. We would also like to express our appreciation to PD Dr. Annegret Mündermann (University of Konstanz) and Dr. Stefanie Everke Buchanan (Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen/University of Konstanz) for their writing assistance on behalf of the authors. The second author thanks the Ministry of Science of the German State of Baden-Württemberg for supporting this project through a grant scholarship of the Brigitte Schlieben-Lange-Programm.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Darko Jekauc
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anne Kerstin Reimers
    • 2
    • 3
  • Matthias Oliver Wagner
    • 1
  • Alexander Woll
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Sport ScienceUniversity of KonstanzConstanceGermany
  2. 2.Department of Sport ScienceUniversity of KonstanzConstanceGermany
  3. 3.Department of Sport ScienceKarlsruhe Institut for TechnologyKarlsruheGermany
  4. 4.Department of Sport ScienceKarlsruhe Institut for TechnologyKarlsruheGermany

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