Improving health through youth sports: is participation enough?

  title={Improving health through youth sports: is participation enough?},
  author={Michael F. Bergeron},
  journal={New directions for youth development},
          27-41, 6
  • M. Bergeron
  • Published 1 September 2007
  • Education
  • New directions for youth development
The health benefits of engaging in regular physical activity are widely known: enhanced cardiorespiratory fitness, increased muscular strength and endurance, and favorable cholesterol and other profiles. Nevertheless, particularly in youth sports programs run by volunteer, and perhaps inadequately trained, coaches, many youth may not realize the health benefits of sports participation due to a number of factors, among them, inappropriate coach-child ratios, limited space, or mismatched… 

When to Initiate Integrative Neuromuscular Training to Reduce Sports-Related Injuries and Enhance Health in Youth?

This review synthesizes the latest literature and expert opinion regarding when to initiate neuromuscular conditioning in youth and presents a how-to integrative training conceptual model that could maximize the potential health-related benefits for children by reducing sports-related injury risk and encouraging lifelong, regular physical activity.

Promoting Physical Activity Through Youth Sports Programs: It’s Social

Friendships were key to both initiation and maintenance of participation, parents facilitated participation, and children with more active parents were more likely to participate in sport, suggesting social influences are important factors for ensuring participation, maximizing the quality of the experience, and capitalizing on the benefits of youth sport.

Participation in vigorous sports, not moderate sports, is positively associated with cardiorespiratory fitness among adolescent girls.

Vigorous sports participation is positively associated with cardiorespiratory fitness and future longitudinal research should analyze whether promoting vigorous sports at an early age can prevent age-related declines in cardiorespiratory fitness among adolescent girls.

Contribution of Organized Sport Participation to Health-Related Fitness in Adolescents

Engagement in OS alone does not seem to be sufficient to enhance fitness components other than cardiovascular endurance, and the results highlight engagement in OS as a promising strategy for achieving cardiovascular endurance.

Physical Activity for Health and Fitness: Past, Present and Future

Health benefits of physical activity are not limited only to improved cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone and cardiometabolic health, and positive effects on weight status, but it also boosts mental health and social health.

Organized Sports, Overweight, and Physical Fitness in Primary School Children in Germany

Even though causality cannot be established, the facilitation of participation in organized sports may be a crucial aspect in public health efforts addressing the growing problems associated with overweight and obesity.

Climatic Heat Stress and Exercising Children and Adolescents

Results of new research indicate that, contrary to previous thinking, youth do not have less effective thermoregulatory ability, insufficient cardiovascular capacity, or lower physical exertion

Exercise is sports medicine in youth: integrative neuromuscular training to optimize motor development and reduce risk of sports related injury

Regular participation in organized youth sports does not ensure adequate exposure to skill- and health-related fitness activities, and sport training without preparatory conditioning does not appear

The Cognitive Benefits of Exercise in Youth

  • A. Diamond
  • Education, Medicine
    Current sports medicine reports
  • 2015
As schools and children struggle to meet ever-changing and mandated academic standards, challenges in the time spent on physical activity continue to arise, the school setting presents a unique public health opportunity to enact change on a variety of levels.



Evidence based physical activity for school-age youth.

Sports participation and health-related behaviors among US youth.

Sports participation is highly prevalent among US high school students, and is associated with numerous positive health behaviors and few negative health behaviors.

Contribution of physical education and sport to health-related fitness in high school students.

As the number of SSS increase, significant increases are observed in cardiovascular fitness, with youth participating solely in PE exhibiting the lowest levels of cardiovascular fitness in comparison to youth participating in PE and SSS.

Guidelines for school and community programs to promote lifelong physical activity among young people. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Recommendations for encouraging physical activity among young people so that they will continue to engage in physical activity in adulthood and obtain the benefits of physical activity throughout life are summarized.

Participation in school sports clubs and related effects on cardiovascular risk factors in young males.

  • H. KawabeK. Murata T. Saruta
  • Education, Medicine
    Hypertension research : official journal of the Japanese Society of Hypertension
  • 2000
Results indicate that belonging to sports clubs influences the BP and lipid profiles of adolescent males, as well as their percent body fat, and it is recommended that even young males practice regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise.

Physical activity, TV viewing, and weight in U.S. youth: 1999 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Increased levels of physical activity are associated with a lower BMI and less TV watching, however, the relationship between TV watching and weight status is more pronounced.

Can Resistance Training Reduce Injuries in Youth Sports?

summary Studies suggest that regular participation in a broad-based training program that includes resistance training can significantly reduce sports-related injuries in adolescents. However,

Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence

It is revealed that the current Health Canada physical activity guidelines are sufficient to elicit health benefits, especially in previously sedentary people, and that a further increase in physical activity and fitness will lead to additional improvements in health status.

Prescribing exercise as preventive therapy

The means of evaluating cardiovascular and musculoskeletal fitness, the methods of evaluating physical activity levels, the current recommendations for exercise (including intensity, type, time and frequency) and the resources available for patients and physicians interested in learning more are outlined.