Exploring the covariates of sports participation for health: an analysis of males and females in England

2014-06-12T14:40:46Z (GMT) by Paul Downward Simona Rasciute
Increasing sport participation has been identified as a key vehicle for achieving World Health Organisation guidelines for health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA). A policy challenge is to promote this changed behaviour. Making use of the Active People Survey, a zero-inflated ordered probit model is used to identify the covariates of sport participation for males and females with respect to the related decisions to either participate in sport or not, and to participate at either lower or higher than desired intensity. To inform current policy emphases, the Active Places Survey is also used to examine the causal impact of facility provision on these behaviours. Results indicate that females are more likely to adopt less intensive activity even with time available. Families could place most constraints on females, but also reduce the intensity of male participation. Education has a greater association with higher intensity female activity. The largest effects are identified for sport club membership and facility satisfaction. Both of these affect male intensity of activity most. The main policy challenges facing sport in contributing to HEPA are shown to involve retaining male intensity of participation when ageing and encouraging greater female intensity of participation, with more appropriate matching of facilities.