Soc. Sci. Med. Vol. 47, No. 5, pp. 665±675, 1998 # 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved Printed in Great Britain 0277-9536/98 $19.00 + 0.00
FACTORS RELATED TO PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: A STUDY OF ADOLESCENTS
RUNAR VILHJALMSSON1* and THOROLFUR THORLINDSSON2
Department of Nursing, University of Iceland, Eiriksgotu 34, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland and 2Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Iceland, Sturlugotu, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
AbstractÐAlthough the consequences of physical activity have been carefully documented, less is known about its correlates, particularly among children and youth. Based on a representative national survey of 1131 Icelandic adolescents, the study examined various physical, psychological, social and demographic factors related to physical activity. Male sex, signi®cant others' involvement in physical activity (father, friend and older brother), sociability, perceived importance of sport and of health improvement and satisfaction with mandatory gym classes in school, were all related to more involvement, whereas hours of paid work and TV-viewing were related to less. Furthermore, the data suggested that the in¯uence of friend's participation in physical activity depends on his or her emotional signi®cance. In¯uential others appeared to aect males and females in the same way. The meaning of the results and their implications for future research are discussed. # 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved Key wordsÐsport, exercise, socialisation, attitudes, life-style, Iceland
Physical activity in the form of sport and exercise is a vast enterprise in contemporary Western society. It involves major social institutions, such as the family, schools and the media and occupies rapidly increasing numbers of participants, workers and consumers (Leonard, 1993, pp. 3±8). Its broad signi®cance has drawn attention from scholars in various ®elds. Despite exceptions (Hafsteinsson, 1989;... [continues]
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