Media use, sports activities, and motor fitness in childhood and adolescence

Summary

Background

Physical activity is one of the key determinants of physical, mental, and social health of children and adolescents. Therefore, the early development of health-relevant behavior patterns is of high relevance.

Aim

To examine the impact of selected socioeconomic factors as well as media consumption, on sports activities and the motor skills of 10- to 14-year-old secondary school students.

Methods

Body height and body weight were measured. The motor skills were determined with the Deutschen Motorik Test (DMT 6‑18; German Motor Test). Information about media use, media equipment, recreational sports activities, migration status, and the parents’ profession was collected by means of a standardized questionnaire.

Results

A total of 391 adolescents have been tested (male 235; female 156). Body mass index (BMI) types are evenly distributed on gender. On a weekday, the pupils spend 10.3 h using media (SD ± 9.1 h). On weekends, media use increases up to 12 h per day on average (SD ± 9.7 h). The number of available media is independent from the age of the respondents and the social status of their families. According to bivariate correlations, heavy media use, a high BMI as well as migration status correlate negatively with both sports activities and motor skills. BMI seems to have the strongest influence on athletic performance (b = 0.41).

Conclusion

Media use is an important determinant of juvenile sports activity and motor performance, being part of a complex juvenile leisure behavior.

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Correspondence to Klaus Greier PD, PhD.

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S. Kaiser-Jovy, A. Scheu, and K. Greier declare that they have no competing interests.

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Kaiser-Jovy, S., Scheu, A. & Greier, K. Media use, sports activities, and motor fitness in childhood and adolescence. Wien Klin Wochenschr 129, 464–471 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00508-017-1216-9

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Keywords

  • Media use
  • Sports activities
  • Motor fitness
  • Behavior patterns
  • Childhood
  • Adolescence