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Understanding participation in sport: A systematic review

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The aim of this study was to systematically examine UK published and unpublished qualitative research studies which have examined children and adults' reasons for participation and non-participation in sport.

The principle method for this study was a systematic review of qualitative studies. In addition three other work areas have been identified:

· A descriptive review of recent UK published quantitative surveys on attitudes to sport and physical activity
· A review of psychological and ecological models of behaviour relevant to physical activity and sport adoption
· A discussion of relevance of these findings for developing policies for sport and physical activity promotion.

This review will ultimately inform a programme of qualitative research, commissioned as a separate contract, which will examine the underlying factors that determine people's attitudes and propensity to take part in sport and physical activity.

Why do some people live and breathe sport and embrace activity throughout their lives while others seemed turned off from activity at a young age or face real or perceived barriers that are too great to overcome leading to drop out and sedentary behaviours? Why do we have so many ‘chronic contemplators’ on the edge of being active but never quite getting there?

These are fundamental questions and crucial ones that need to be addressed if we are to have any chance of achieving our ambitious targets to not only halt the recent declines in participation in sport and recreational physical activity, but to sustain increases and widen access.

Sport England
This review carried out by the University of Oxford British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group provides an important first step on the ladder to improve the evidence base that underpins investment and programmes seeking to increase participation in sport.

The Review provides an overview of what we do know from the research carried out to date but is forced to draw the conclusion that there is insufficient high quality research evidence available on the reasons why adults and young people do and do not participate in sport.



 editors comments   

Editor's comments - [  The Oxford Review is important in providing a foundation for future research and points the way towards a better theoretical understanding of behaviour change in terms of sport and exercise. ]  Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>

In the text: Cryer (year)


APA reference for this document


Reference : Sport England. (2005). Understanding participation in sport: A systematic review. London: Sport England.

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Download this file (understanding_participation_in_sport_2005.pdf)understanding_participation_in_sport_2005.pdfSport England. (2005). Understanding participation in sport: A systematic review. London: Sport England.
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 March 2009 12:43  

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