Self-Reported Physical Activity Level in Student Athletes at Preparticipation Physical Evaluations

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Quantify physical activity in healthy student athletes.


Cross-sectional survey.


Five Central Ohio schools during mass preparticipation physicals.


Three hundred sixty-five children between the ages 10 and 18 years.

Independent Variables:

Days per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), minutes per day of MVPA, and number of activities.

Main Outcome Measures:

Minutes per week of MVPA.


One hundred eighty high school and 177 middle school subjects responded to the survey. There were 198 male and 162 female respondents. Mean age recorded 14.2 ± 1.7 years. There were no differences in activity volume based on sex. Mean minutes per week of MVPA reported 316.0 ± 231.0. High school subjects reported fewer activities than middle school cohort 2.7 ± 1.2 versus 3.2 ± 1.5 (P < 0.05).


Only 7% of respondents reported exercising 60 minutes daily. Twenty-seven percent of respondents met minutes per week (420 minutes of MVPA) by training in large volumes on fewer days. Surprisingly, this physically active population did not meet the national standards of daily MVPA. In addition, middle school athletes reported more variety of activities compared with high school athletes surveyed which reached statistical significance. Screening for daily physical activity is important in the athletic population because young athletes may not meet daily MVPA recommendations.

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