Background: This study examined associations between sports participation, physical activity, fitness level, and body mass index in ninth-grade girls. Methods: Data were analyzed for 221 participants who completed sports participation and physical activity recall questionnaires, an aerobic step test, and height and weight measurement. Results: On average, participants had low physical activity levels, and many were overweight or obese (47%). About half participated in at least one organized sport in the previous year. Sports participants had higher current estimated energy expenditure compared with non-sports participants (P = .0007). Those who participated on at least two teams were more likely to complete the three-stage step test without reaching their target heart rate than those who did not participate on any teams (P < .03). Past sports participation was positively associated with current physical activity and fitness levels. Conclusion: Urban adolescent girls who participate in sports have increased energy expenditure and higher fitness levels, indicating sports as a potential strategy to improve physical activity and health in this population.
- African American
- Energy expenditure
- High school
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine