Factors influencing particpation in physical activity in 11-13 year-old primary school children in the Western Cape
Physical inactivity is increasing among adolescents worldwide and may be contributing to the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity. South African adolescents are physically inactive and obesity has become an alarming trend. Physical activity behaviours have multiple levels of influence that include predisposing factors, reinforcing factors and enabling factors. This study aimed to identify the predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling factors of physical activity and which ones were the strongest predictors of physical activity participation among adolescents in the Western Cape. The study sample was conveniently selected from two schools in the Metropole South Education District. Using the children’s physical activity questionnaire and the children’s physical activity correlates questionnaire, a sample of 348 participants completed the questionnaires. Demographic variables were analysed using descriptive statistics which included means and standard deviations. Pearson correlation and regression analysis were performed to determine the relationship between the variables and to determine the strongest predictors of physical activity overall. Parental influence (r=0.236, p<0.01), peer influence (r = 0.012, p<0.05), perceived physical activity self-efficacy (r=0.212, p<0.05) and perceived physical activity competence (r = 0.192, p < 0.05) were all strong predictors of PA. However, parental influence was the strongest predictor overall (r=0.236, p<0.01). Adolescents are more likely to participate in physical activity if their parents encourage, support and participate in physical activity with them.