The Relationship between In-School Physical Activity and Life Satisfaction, Self-Rated Health, Academic Performance, and Out-of-School Physical Activity: A Canadian Study
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The growing prevalence of childhood and adolescent physical inactivity and obesity are major concerns in Canada. Physical activity promoted within schools should be seen as a way to address these problems, since the majority of children receive public schooling. Research highlighting in-school physical activity helps influence school board and public health officials to create a physically active school environment. Consequently, this study has two objectives. The first is to describe the prevalence of in-school physical activity and four dependent variables in a nationwide sample of 9717 students, using data from the Health Behavior in School–aged Children survey. Dependent variables include life satisfaction, self-rated health, academic performance, and out-of-school physical activity. The second objective examines the association between in-school physical activity levels and these dependent variables, while controlling for potential confounders. Using existing data from the 2005/06 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Survey, a partial proportional odds model form of ordinal logistic regression was fitted in order to investigate the relationship between in-school physical activity and self-rated health, life satisfaction, academic performance, and out-of-school physical activity, while controlling for potential confounders. The results showed a significant positive relationship between in-school physical activity and life satisfaction (OR range: 1.18 – 1.50), in-school physical activity and self-rated health (OR range: 1.10 – 2.86), in-school physical activity and academic performance (OR range: 1.20 – 1.40), and in-school physical activity and out-of-school physical activity (OR range: 1.09 - 6.68). Consequently, it is recommended that school environments which encourage physical activity continue to be promoted, and future studies continue to explore the benefits of in-school physical activity.
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