A STUDY OF THE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OF SUPPORTERS OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

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Abstract

Physical inactivity has been identified as the 4th leading cause of global mortality (http://http://www.who.int/topics/physical_activity/en). UK physical activity (PA) guidelines advise adults should achieve a weekly minimum of 150 minutes moderate activity, 75 minutes vigorous activity or a combination of the two. Adults should also partake in at least 2 days of muscle strengthening (MS) exercise per week (https://http://www.gov.uk/government/ publications/uk-physical-activity-guidelines). The project aimed to assess sports fans' knowledge of PA guidelines, to evaluate the amount of PA undertaken, and assess whether PA knowledge and participation is influenced by sport preference. A 2-part questionnaire (Part 1 knowledge of PA guidelines; Part 2 amount of PA) was completed by supporters aged over 18 attending a fixture at Durham CCC, Sunderland AFC, Newcastle Falcons RFC and Newcastle Racecourse. Supporters with health problems limiting moderate exercise were excluded from Part 2. 277 supporters were analysed. Relevant data for incomplete questionnaires was excluded and valid percentages were used. 72% of participants said they were aware of PA guidelines existing but only 6.2% correctly answered 150 minutes for the amount of PA advised per week. 25.6% correctly documented 2 MS days per week. 21.1% of participants failed to reach 150 minutes PA per week, with 59.6% undertaking MS exercise on less than 2 days per week. There was a significant difference between sports for number of days per week of MS exercise (mean (SD): Football 2.32 (2.01); Rugby 1.48 (1.63); Cricket 0.77 (1.37); Horse Racing 0.72 (1.29) [p<0.001]). There was a significant difference between sports for participant perspective of how active they are [p=0.004]. Analysis shows that most sports fans do meet PA guidelines for moderate/vigorous activity. This is not the case for MS exercise, which may be influenced by preferred sport. Knowledge of recommended PA and MS exercise suggests further education is required.

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