Does sports club participation contribute to health-related quality of life?

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Eime, Rochelle ORCID: 0000-0002-8614-2813, Harvey, John ORCID: 0000-0001-6927-6580, Brown, Wendy J ORCID: 0000-0001-9093-4509 and Payne, Warren ORCID: 0000-0001-5046-3992 (2010) Does sports club participation contribute to health-related quality of life? Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 42 (5). pp. 1022-1028. ISSN 0195-9131


Several studies have reported on the associations between participation in physical activity (PA) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) (5,7,8,15,17,19,21). Most of these have used the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) (33), which is a comprehensive, validated measure of HRQoL, with eight subscales (physical functioning, role physical, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, role emotional, and mental health) and two summary scores (the physical component summary (PCS) and the mental component summary (MCS)) (32,33). Most previous studies have reported positive associations between PA and general health (5,15,19), social functioning (5,19), and vitality (5,19,35) subscales in general population samples, but with the exception of walking (5), they have not examined the relationships between participation in different types of PA and HRQoL. In Australia, most of the evidence on relationships between PA and HRQoL has come from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH) (8,9,19). Because the ALSWH uses a generic measure of participation in walking and in moderate- and vigorous-intensity PA, the data cannot be used to provide insight into the associations between different types of PA, such as playing sport and going to the gym, and HRQoL. This is important because in Australia nearly 30% of people 15 yr and older participate in organized sport or recreation through a community sports club or organization (2). A positive aspect of participation in club-based sport is that those adults involved in sports clubs are significantly more likely to achieve recommended levels of PA than those who are not (16). As community sports clubs provide opportunities for social interaction through both structured (organized and competitive) and unstructured (social) participation in sport (14), it has been suggested that involvement in club sport may impact positively on social and mental well-being (27,29,31). For example, clubs may work as social catalysts, leading to enhanced involvement and participation (24), with potentially greater physical and mental health benefits from club sport participation than from other forms of PA (26,30). It has been reported that elements of social and mental well-being, such as social connectedness, social support, peer bonding, increased life satisfaction, and self-esteem, may reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and can be enhanced by participation in organized sport (10,26,27,29,30). Relationships between participation in club-based sport and HRQoL have not however been examined. The sport sector is beginning to adopt health promotion principles through the establishment of strategies such as the development of healthy and welcoming environments (13). The healthy and welcoming environments strategy incorporates social support principles and policies through a "welcoming and inclusive environment" component that focuses on engagement and maintenance of club participants (13). These principles are well supported in the PA literature because social support has been identified as a determinant for PA engagement and maintenance, and the promotion of PA in a social context is endorsed (27,28). Because women are less likely to be physically active than men (3) and given that women living in rural areas have poorer health (34) and higher rates of overweight and obesity (4,9) than their metropolitan counterparts, women living in rural areas were the focus of this study. Among adult women living in Victoria, walking is the most common form of PA, with 32.7% reporting participation in walking for exercise. The next most common type of PA for women in this age group is aerobics/fitness (15.2%). The most popular sports played by Victorian women are netball (5.2%) and tennis (4.9%). Of all types of sports and physical recreation activities, these sports rank fourth and fifth in participation rates (2). Because of their relative popularity in Victoria, tennis and netball were selected as the club sports of interest, and walking and gymnasium-based activities were selected as the other forms of activity. The main aim of this research was to compare levels of HRQoL and life satisfaction in members of sporting clubs and those who participate in other common forms of PA. Given the suggested benefits of participation in sports clubs and teams on many aspects of social and mental well-being, we hypothesized that HRQoL and life satisfaction would be greater among sports club participants than among those who participate only in the more individual PA and members of a normative population of women

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c3adaa
Official URL
Subjects Historical > SEO Classification > 9299 Other Health
Current > Division/Research > Other
Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Keywords ResPubID19426, sports, women, rural, physical health, mental health, physical activity
Citations in Scopus 97 - View on Scopus
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