Barriers and enablers for sufficient moderate-to-vigorous physical activity: The perspective of adolescents

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Interventions to improve physical activity (PA) among adolescents continue to be a public health priority. To promote PA more effectively, we need to identify the main factors contributing to (not) engagement in PA in the perspective of adolescents themselves. Thus, we explored the barriers and enablers for sufficient moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in adolescents from their point of view.

METHODS: We used qualitative data collected as part of the international Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children study. We obtained data from 14-17 years old adolescents from the first year of Slovak high school. We conducted 11 online, semi-structured individual and group interviews with 24 participants in total (7 boys; mean age = 15.17, SD = 0.87) in Slovakia. We analysed the data using consensual qualitative research and thematic analysis.

RESULTS: In the statements of adolescents, four main themes were identified regarding factors contributing to (not) engagement in PA among adolescents. 'Myself as a source' represents the importance of adolescents' own efforts, knowledge, physical predispositions and PA experience. 'How PA can be done' represents school as an opportunity for PA, and PA teachers and sports coaches as specialists who can create an enabling environment for sports. 'Others as a source' represents the social circle that can set a positive sports example and can encourage adolescent's efforts in PA. 'Factors outside' represents other factors that can inspire adolescents, e.g. by giving them a comfortable space and time to exercise, or can be a barrier to PA.

CONCLUSION: The potential factors that include adolescents' perspectives can be more leveraged in designing supportive, inclusive, enjoyable, and skills-appropriate PA programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0296736
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16-Feb-2024

Keywords

  • Male
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Adolescent
  • Exercise
  • Sports
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Qualitative Research
  • Public Health

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