gender differences in adolescents' perceptions of one's own

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Summary of gender differences in adolescents' perceptions of one's own

In: Body Image ISBN: 978-1-53616-660-6 Editor: Aimé Doiron © 2020 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Chapter 1 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ADOLESCENTS’ PERCEPTIONS OF ONE’S OWN BODY, EATING HABITS AND SPORTS PARTICIPATION MOTIVES IN THE ERA OF SEDENTARY BEHAVIOR Janka Peráčková1 and Pavol Peráček2 1Department of Sport Educology and Sport Humanities, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Comenius University in Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovak Republic 2Department of Sport Games, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Comenius University in Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovak Republic ABSTRACT This chapter will present the results among adolescent sports active and sports inactive girls and boys, their perception of their own body image and their associated eating habits and sports participation motives. We used self-reported questionnaires for research. For perceptions of their own body, we used the Figure Rating Scale – FRS (Stunkard, Sorenson and Schulsinger 1983a, 1983b) to find out the attitude towards one´s own body. For investigating eating habits, we used the questionnaire; Eating Attitude Janka Peráčková and Pavol Peráček 2 Test – EAT-26 (Garner, Olmsted, Bohr, Paul and Garfinkel 1982) to determine whether some might have an eating disorder and the questionnaire; The Exercise Motivations Inventory – EMI-2 (Markland and Hardy 1993; Markland and Ingledew 1997) was used to assess participation motives in sports. The respondents were girls and boys (n=320) from selected Slovak secondary schools who were divided into sports active and sports inactive. Results about perceptions of one´s own body showed that both girls and boys differ in their perceptions of ideal appearance and both sports active and sports inactive also differ in their perceptions of ideal appearance. Most of them are dissatisfied with their perception of their own body. In comparisons of gender and sports participation with perceptions of their own body we found out that the differences in boys and sports active adolescents were statistically smaller than in girls and sports inactive adolescents. Sports participation appears to be a more significant predictor of satisfaction with one´s own body than gender. Results about eating habits in comparison to gender showed no statistical differences between adolescent girls and boys as a whole. Statistical differences appear in eating a second dinner, more boys eat a second dinner than girls. In a comparison of eating habits between sports active and sports inactive adolescents, we found more positive eating habits in sports active adolescents. Our research shows the most important motives for participating in sports for boys are; positive health, strength and endurance, physical appearance, enjoyment and fun, nimbleness, weight management, and for girls; positive health, physical appearance, strength and endurance, enjoyment and fun, weight management, nimbleness. For sports active boys, the motives are; strength and endurance, positive health, physical appearance, enjoyment and fun, nimbleness, weight management, and for sports inactive boys positive health, strength and endurance, weight management, nimbleness, physical appearance, enjoyment and fun. For sports active girls, the motives are; positive health, physical appearance, enjoyment and fun, strength and endurance, weight management, nimbleness and for sports inactive girls, they are; positive health, strength and endurance, physical appearance, weight management, nimbleness, enjoyment and fun. Gender and physical activity can be a predictor of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with body size, eating concerns, eating habits and exercise motives. Keywords: body perception, eating habits, adolescents, sport participation motives Gender Differences in Adolescents´ Perceptions… 3 1. INTRODUCTION The best means to maintain good physical and mental health is physical activity, which must be in oneʼs schedule everyday. The body is prepared for movement and the development of modern civilization has eliminated most physical activity from human activities. More and more work activities are losing the character of physical activity and becoming sedentary like computer activities. The use of computers and robots in the work place caused the removal of movement. Sedentary behavior is where people are during most of their waking time – sitting, lying, or sometimes standing without moving and changing positions causes very low energy expenditure. The example of sedentary behavior is typical at school – sitting at the desk in front of blackboard, typical at work – sitting at the table in front of the computer. Nowadays, an employer will not walk into next office because he/she will rather use internal e-mail or mobile phone to manage work tasks. Robots have mastered some operations, which were formerly done by the people. The time spent in work in western civilizations has grown despite declaring a reduction of working time, and leisure time has become a rarity. Leaving work to go home for some, is only changing the place to continue working. With this pattern of living, physicians will have to work with new nameless illnesses because we do not know the results from research, what will happen when there is a long-term deficiency of movement. A sedentary lifestyle is negative for public health and therefore attracts media and research attention. 1.1. The Era of Sedentary Behavior Surveys from European countries (Cavill, Kahlmeier and Racioppi 2006) showed low levels of overall physical activity in many populations. They said that physical activity has seemed to be disappearing from the lifestyle of people, and the sedentary way of living has begun. In addition, physical activity is one of the keys to counteracting the current epidemic of overweight and obesity that is posing a new global challenge to public health (Danzon 2006). The next European survey from the year 2014 (Santaliestra- Janka Peráčková and Pavol Peráček 4 Pasías, Mouratidou, Verbestel et al. 2014) showed that approximately one third of the children (from the amount of n=15 330) aged 2-10 years were engaged in daily media use of more than 2 hours a day. The availability of a television in a child´s personal space has increased the risk of excess time of media use. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Committee on Public Education (2001) in its statement describes the possible negative health effects of television viewing on children and adolescents. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggested that adolescents should not spend more than two hours per day in screen viewing. They warned that programs in screen viewing equipment could lead to poor body image, obesity, eating disorders, violent and aggressive behavior, substance abuse, inadequate sexual activity and decreased school performance as well. With sedentary behavior comes the image of (in)activity that a person can sit and view television, can sit and play videogames, can sit and read, can sit and knit or make another handmade activities, can sit and drive the car, can sit and work with the computer, can stand and talk, can lay and read the journals. All activities in sitting, laying or standing position have a very low energy expenditure. Sedentary behavior is defined as; “any waking behavior characterized by an energy expenditure ≤1.5 METs while in a sitting, reclining or lying posture” (Tremblay, Aubert, Barnes et al., 2017). We think that not having enough movement through the whole day begins already in preschool age. The ISCED 0 in Slovakia – state educational program for preschool children (curriculum) has 7 areas of education: language and communication, mathematics and work with information, human being and the nature, human being and the society, human being and the world of work, art and culture, and health and motion. The educational system is focused mostly on the cognitive (informative) side of education rather than on the formative side, where the development of motor abilities and motion of the children are involved. The literature search of Hinkley, Crawford, Salmon et al. (2008) summarized the literature over the past 27 years (1980-2007), which investigated preschool children´s physical activity behaviors. They found out that boys were more active than girls, and the next very important result was that children with more active Gender Differences in Adolescents´ Perceptions… 5 parents tended to be more active, and the children who spent more time outdoors were more active than children who spent less time outdoors. The comparison of questionnaire data collection from the years 1994- 1995 and the next wave of research in the year 2001 (Gordon-Larsen, Nelson and Popkin 2004) showed that the vast majority of adolescents did not achieve five or more sessions of moderate physical activity per week and continued with this behavior into adulthood. Authors Aarnio, Winter, Peltonen et al. (2002) introduced a longitudinal survey, which declared that those who participated in organized sports were more often persistent exercisers than those who did not, and the stability of leisure-time physical activity was highest among those, who participated in several types of sports. In the publication of Hallal, Andersen, Bull et al. (2012) it is written that 31.3 % of adults worldwide do not meet physical activity recommendations. The recommendation of Cavill, Biddle and Sallis (2001) is that all young people should participate in moderate intensity physical activity for one hour per day or at least half an hour per day for young people who are currently performing little physical activity. The authors´ cross-sectional study, Ruiz, Ortega, Martinéz-Goméz et al. (2011) revealed that a higher proportion of European boys (56.8% of boys vs. 27.5% girls) met the physical activity recommendations of at least one hour per day of moderate- to vigorous- intensity physical activity. Adolescents spent 9 hours a day in sedentary behavior. Insufficient vigorous physical activity was the only risk factor for higher body mass index for adolescent boys and girls (n=878) in the study of Patrick, Norman, Calfas et al. (2004). They found out that few adolescent girls or boys were meeting any of the three dietary recommendations. Physical activity mostly declines from adolescence to adulthood. The decline in physical activity with age was the research of Sallis, Prochaska and Taylor (2000) in the United States of America, who indicated the steepest decline between the ages of 13 and 18 years old and surprisingly, they found that this decline is greater for male than female subjects. But the most frequent and most consistent findings was that boys are more active than girls (ibid). The findings of Nelson, Neumark-Sztainer, Hannan et al. (2006) confirmed the longitudinal decline in moderate to vigorous physical activity (particularly among girls) and at the same time (between years 1999- 2004) there was a dramatic increase in computer use (particularly among Janka Peráčková and Pavol Peráček 6 boys). The meta-analysis review of Mielke, Brown, Nunes, et al. (2017) investigated the relation of socioeconomic correlates to sedentary behavior in adolescents and found out that the associations between socioeconomic status and sedentary behavior are different in high- and low-middle-income countries. In a longitudinal study of Bauer, Nelson, Boutelle and Neumark- Sztainer (2008), which lasted 5 years, examined how parental concern about staying fit is associated with adolescents´ physical activity and sedentary behavior habits. The final statement is that parental encouragement to be physically active was associated with increased this activity among males and younger females. Younger adolescents appear to be especially influenced by their same-sex parent. The aim of the Kukurová and Peráčková (2016) research was to broaden knowledge about the sports participation of female primary school pupils from Slovakia. Today´s lifestyle brings inactivity and moreover a sedentary lifestyle. Physical activity is disappearing out of the daily regime, while everybody knows that physical activity is good for life and the proper functioning of the body. The research sample consisted of 189 female pupils. 90 of them attended primary school in the city and 99 female pupils attended school in the village. The results reveal that 74 female pupils (39.2 %) were organized in sport activities. 40 out of 90 female pupils attending primary school in the city were organized in sports activities, as were 34 out of 99 female pupils from the village. A comparison of the participation of female pupils from the city and from the village brought results without statistical significance. The survey of Peráčková (2010) showed the organized sports participation of the secondary school population from Slovakia. From the research sample taken from over the whole of Slovakia (n= 5300 pupils, girls n=3146 and boys n=2154) only 14.6% of girls were organized in some sports club or extracurricular sporting activities and the other 85.4% were identified as nonathletes. Participation of organized boys from Slovak secondary school in some motion or sports activities was 27.7 %. Most of them who were organized in sporting activities (girls 36.4% and boys 44.1%) were from the first class of secondary school and then we registered a declining trend of participation with the age. In comparison, Peráčková´s (1994) survey declares that in that year 1994 more boys than girls were organized in the sports club participation lead by at responsible person – trainer and recreational (spontaneous) physical activities (boys 55.9%, girls 52.6%). Physical activities were preferable among adolescents during Gender Differences in Adolescents´ Perceptions… 7 leisure time. Authors of an article (Washington 2001) stated that participation in organized sports provides an opportunity to increase physical activity and to also develop physical and social skills. Participation in organized sports was associated with a greater likelihood to engage in a cluster of health behaviors (Vella, Cliff, Okely et al. 2013). When there is no physical activity and locomotion, this is the rapid way to health damage and illness. In Finland, there was research of this issue as part of a national-level research program, Cardiovascular Risk in young Finns (Telama and Yang 2000). The aim was to analyze the age-related decline of physical activity among Finnish people of both genders aged 9, 12, 15 and 18 from the year 1980 with follow up measurements in 1983, 1986, and 1989, thus the data covered ages from 9 to 27 years old. They found the decline from the age of 12 years in the frequency of physical activity and sports participation and the same result as Sallis, Prochaska and Taylor (2000) and Sallis (2000) that the decline of physical activity was steeper among male than female subjects. The probable mechanism, according to their thoughts, is due to the dopamine system that regulates motivation for locomotion. The same results, claimed by Ingram (2000); “reduced dopamine release or loss of dopamine receptors appears to underlie age-related activity decline, and interventions that enhance dopamine function can increase activity levels in aged animals”, because it has biological basis. Therefore the researchers should investigate the causes of rapidly boosting the sedentary behavior that starts in the age of late puberty and young adolescence. We investigated the sports participation motives among sports active and sports inactive adolescent boys and girls. The findings will be presented in this chapter. We need to find the gender- and age-related (adolescence) movement interventions for being physically active to maintain a healthful lifestyle with the adequate portion of motion. The question arises if, there will be free time and a choice for young people, what will they be choosing, sedentary behavior or behavior with physical activity? We feel that most of the people should take a chance for behavior with physical activity. It does not matter if it will be the Janka Peráčková and Pavol Peráček 8 consequence of rational behavior based on media recommendation or advertisement or evidence-based scientific advice from research about the positive influence of physical activity for a person´s lifestyle. The question of whether sedentary behaviors displace participation in physical activity is vivid in current time but what it will cause is unknown. 1.2. Gender Differences in Satisfaction or Dissatisfaction with the Perception of One’s Own Body Size Perception is a basic cognitive process and it is responsible for our contact with the entire world. Perception is a process which is initiated with the feelings of all sensitive people. But each individual personality has its own way of perception as it is known in this saying: “Quidquid recipitur, ad modum recipient recipitur” – (“Whatever man received, is received according to the ability of the recipient.” or “Whatever one perceives, it perceives it in his/her own way.”). According to Boroš, Ondrišková and Živčicová (1999) perception is composed of three conditions: a) The innate state of sensory organs, body build, and its functionality. b) Individual way of living that is conditioned with motivation, attitudes, approaches, and interests. c) Previous experience and knowledge. Thanks to these psychological characteristics man can perceive brighter and smarter. Perceiving is dependent from culture in which the man is a part. Perception is joined also with thinking, will and feelings. Perception, feelings and thoughts of individuals towards their own bodies are very important phenomenon in the everyday social life of a man. Perception of one´s own physical appearance is important in the development of young people and the development of their self-concept, self-esteem and self- confidence. Quality of life is dependent on the perception of one´s own body. During assessment of one´s own physical appearance, results come in two attitudes – positive and negative. Positive self-assessment is defined as a satisfaction with the body form, size and appearance and negative attitude Gender Differences in Adolescents´ Perceptions… 9 is a dissatisfaction, which can cause a lack of confidence in a social life. In adolescence, body image is very important, especially for girls. Nowadays more adolescent boys are getting worried about their body (Grogan 1998; Bergeron 2007; Petroski, Pelegrini and Glaner 2009; Dejová 2016). The problem of body image dissatisfaction among adolescent girls and boys is vivid and visible, based on what we see in this chapter and the referenced literature. Casual dependence between media and negative body image offered a critical analysis (Dittmar 2009) that is based on evidence and highlighted not only differences with respect to individuals, but also how it is linked to personality and self-identity. Identification with the thin ideal as a vulnerability factor, is not only for women but for men too. The research of authors Andrew, Tiggemann and Clark (2015) found that women who had less respect for their body had an increased degree of dissatisfaction with body image, while for those who respect their own body, the degree remained the same. The impact of exposure to thin-ideal media image from research publication Hawkins, Richards, Granley and Stein (2004) has stated that most women in the media are 15% under the average weight of standard women from the population, and even pointed to the fact that women in commercials and movies have become increasingly slimmer over the last 10 years. According to their findings, the exposure to thin-ideal in media increased body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. Media, parents and peers were three primary core sources of influence in the research of van den Berg, Thompson, Obremski-Brandon and Coovert (2002) that contributed to development of body image dissatisfaction and eating disturbances. 1.3. Satisfaction or Dissatisfaction with Body Size in Sports Active and Sports Inactive Adolescents Physical activity, exercise and sports are considered as a means for increasing a person´s level of positive body perception. In the period of adolescence, several factors influenced the life of young people. A great part of these factors concerns body size or body shape, which are common among young women mostly from Western civilizations and their cultures. The girls Janka Peráčková and Pavol Peráček 10 are more emotional, and the negative words can hurt and negatively influence the girl’s feelings. Adolescents are in a period when they are no longer children, but they are not yet adults. The adolescent period is characteristic with emotional changes and typical social reorientation from the family to peers and romantic interests (Flaxman, Skattebol, Bedford and Valentine (2012). Very important in this period is that adolescents accept their own body and the physical changes, which come with the maturation. The conclusions from the O´Dea study (2012) recommended a focus on adolescent’s support within the school environment to develop a positive body image and schools should promote general physical health, healthy nutrition and regular physical activity. There are some differences about the perception of one´s own body in sports active and sports inactive adolescents in the research of Peráčková, Chovancová, Kukurová and Plevková (2018), Peráčková and Peráček (2016), where Peráčková, Chovancová, Kukurová and Plevková (2018), contrary to more studies, presented results about the differences between sports active (n=105) and sports inactive (49) adolescent girls and their attitude toward their own bodies, where they did not find any differences. But in the study by Peráčková and Peráček (2016), where there were sports active boys (n=401), sports inactive boys (n=276), sports active girls (n=582) and sports inactive girls (n=372), the authors looked for the differences in the positive perception of the body among sports active girls and boys and found out that the greatest pride from the point of view of their own attractiveness was felt by the sports active boys and the least pride was felt by the sports inactive girls. How exercise influences the body image is a concern of many other researchers; McDonald and Thomson (1992), Hausenblas and Downs (2001), Cambell and Hausenblas (2009), Plevková and Peráčková (2016a). Exercise and sports helps to perceive the body in a positive way and be more accepting of the body´s real size. 1.4. Eating Habits in Adolescents Eating habits count as important characteristics of health. The way a person or group of people eats displays their eating habits. Eating habits are Gender Differences in Adolescents´ Perceptions… 11 influenced by the new trend, which is joined with the desire of possessing the ideal body. Adolescents who are not satisfied with their own body, especially with their weight, tend to prefer dieting. The growing organisms in adolescents need to be supplied with enough nutrition to stay healthy. But dissatisfaction with the body can lead to increased dieting, which could result in eating disorders. Statistical significance was found in the research of Plevková and Peráčková (2016b) when comparing body weight, as a result of eating habits and participation in sports, of 15-16-year-old sports active and sports inactive male pupils from Bratislava and other areas of Slovakia. For the 16- and 17-year-olds, they compared the following groups: sports active and sports inactive from Bratislava, sports active from Bratislava and sports active from the other areas of Slovakia, and sports inactive from Bratislava and sports inactive from the other areas of Slovakia. In all age categories (15-16-year-old, 16-17-year-old, and 17-18-year-old), it was the heavier boys who were sports inactive. The adolescents presented the biggest potential issues with eating habits. They did not have breakfast, which is an important meal during the day (Dejová 2016; Miklošová 2018; Ochaba, Patoprstá, Rovný et al. 2018) and they sometimes omit eating lunch and dinner. Adolescents’ weight loss or weight control behavior were predicted in relation to income, mothers BMI, peer pressure, and negative peer comments (Trembley and Lariviere 2009). In the project, EAT researchers Timlin, Pereira, Story and Neumark Sztainer (2008) saw the decline of breakfast eating through adolescence. Weight-related concerns and behavior such as the use of unhealthy and extreme weight control methods and binge eating mostly among adolescent girls and overweight youth were presented by authors Neumark-Sztainer, Story, Hannan et al. (2002). Risk factors for eating disorders are presented in meta-analytic review of Stice (2002), where it has been revealed that negative body image is a major risk element for eating disorders. Eating behaviors are impacted by development during adolescence (Stang and Stotmeister 2017). The Public Health Authority of Slovakia (2018) has their aim for the years 2015 – 2025 to prevent obesity, based on the fact that there is an Janka Peráčková and Pavol Peráček 12 epidemic increase of overweight people and obesity worldwide. They identified the dangerous factors which caused these problems and they are, unhealthy eating habits and very low physical activity. The Project for the Prevention of Unhealthy Eating Habits is presented by Ochaba, Patoprstá, Rovný et al. (2018) with these nutritional goals: to achieve an energy intake balance and optimal weight, reduce energy intake from fats and sugar, increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains cereals, leguminous plants and nuts, and reduce consumption of salt. Incorrect or insufficient nutrition causes severe health problems – malnutrition, overweight, obesity. Being overweight during adolescence, as it is clear from Guo, Wu, Chumlea and Roche (2002), tends to continue during adulthood. Mass media influences opinions, attitudes, changes of a man´s behavior, and becomes a tool of power. Man has an immediate reaction to media content (because of perceiving and thinking) and if media content has this great effect, then man can get new information and knowledge that can change his/her behavior. The master thesis of Peráčkova, N. (2016) involved the media contents (from over the 4058 pages) of lifestyles magazines published in Slovakia with a focus on healthy nutrition. The author recommended that readers should monitor compliance of media content with the principles of healthy nutrition, because sometimes on the internet and in some media, there are contradictory messages. Scientific journals with a long tradition of presenting research are the best control and the best source of trustworthy news and results of research. The author’s recommendations are the results of her research: when communicating healthy nutrition in a graphical view, the publisher should use colors that people associate with healthy nutrition – especially green, red and yellow. When communicating healthy nutrition in spoken words, the publisher should use the words and verbs that people associate with healthy nutrition – healthy lifestyle, food, health, vegetables, fruits, fruits and vegetables and create feelings of life joy, happiness, good feeling and feeling fit. This is what readers are influenced by. Gender Differences in Adolescents´ Perceptions… 13 1.5. Sports Participation Motives in Adolescents Motivation is explained by Nakonečný (2009) as a subjective understanding of what man regards as beneficial and good not only for him/herself but also for humans in general. Motivation is perceived as an incentive for being active and engaged in the subjects of the interest. Motivation is defined as a process which activates human beings to perform various activities. Generally, we can say that motivation consists of an answer to a question of why we act the way we act. Exercise Participation in exercise motivates behavior in line with personal goals and the life values. Sport motives differ in individuals. Physical activity is a benefit to a personʼs physical and psychological well-being. One of the most important benefits of physical activity is that man can avoid many diseases, which could be as a result of insufficient motion. Physical activity gradually decreases during adolescence and the researchers must find the motives that have to be promoted for supporting health-related physical activity. The considerable attention from researchers around the world is marked by the developed questionnaire EMI-2 of authors Markland and Hardy (1993) and Markland and Ingledew (1997), which assess 14 motives that are grouped in separate questions. The number of the questions in the whole questionnaire is 51. Each motive is compounded from 4 resp. 3 questions. The questions are phrased in such a way that it can be answered by individuals who are not currently participating in exercise (but who might do so) as well as those who are participating just in the time when the questionnaire is given. A nice idea is presented in the study of Markland and Ingledew (2007), where it is written that when the preferred motives are good appearance and weight management it will tend to make the person participate in physical activities for a longer time, because to lose weight is not a matter of one day. The effects of body mass and body image on exercise motives emerge in adolescence, with gender differences and these effects may influence exercise adherence as noted by Ingledew and Sullivan (2002). From the research of Peráčková, Pintérová, Chovancová (2013), it can be explained and highlighted that the most motivating effect for girls is the motive of body forming (51%), then increasing and maintaining the physical condition (47%) and then enjoyment and feeling of satisfaction when Janka Peráčková and Pavol Peráček 14 exercising (38%). The boys prefer increasing and maintaining their physical condition (65%), then body forming (54%) and then enjoyment and satisfaction when exercising (37%). A comparison of exercise motives between adolescents from different nations (Slovaks and Germans) brings us to the study of Kukurová and Peráčková (2015). The conclusion of this research (ibid) showed that the motivation to physical activities is similar but not the same. Slovak and German pupils share the most common motives identified: positive health, strength and endurance and appearance. All three motives are among the top five most popular motives from the 14 motives that could be chosen by the respondents. The aim of the research in the present chapter is to expand knowledge, examine and compare gender and sports participation among adolescents in relation to satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the perceptions of their own body and the relation to eating habits and sports participation motives in the era of sedentary behavior. 2. METHODS 2.1. Participants Characteristics The table below (Table 2.1) shows a sample of sports active and sports inactive boys and girls involved in research for this chapter. We recruited girls and boys from Slovak secondary schools mainly from the capital city of Bratislava. There were 320 participants included in the research sample that represented sports active and sports inactive adolescent boys (n=169) and girls (n=151) based on the level of participation in extracurricular sporting activities. They all attended two compulsory Physical Education lessons in school weekly. On the basis of the literature (Grgic, Schoenfeld, Davies et al. 2018; Martinéz-Pardo, Romero-Arenas, Martínez-Ruiz et al. 2014; Huang, Yamamoto, 2013; Murlasits, Reed, Wells, 2012), who wrote about the development of physical abilities at the frequency of two training units per week, we decided to divide the sample in terms of this criteria. Respondents were categorized as sports active and sports inactive upon self-reported answers. In the group of sports active participants, we had all Gender Differences in Adolescents´ Perceptions… 15 the students who participated in sports activities, minimum twice a week, total of 120 minutes per week. Those who did not participate in sporting activities or were involved in sporting activities less than twice a week or less than 120 minutes per week were placed in the group of sports inactive participants. According to van der Ploeg and Hillsdon (2017), most research studies use the term inactive to explain that sports inactive people are those who are performing insufficient amounts of moderate and vigorous activity. Table 2.1. Sample characteristics – number and percent of adolescent sports active boys and girls and sports inactive boys and girls Sports active boys and girls Sports inactive boys and girls Gender n % n % Total (Ʃ) Male (boys) 113 (56.5%) 56 (46.7%) 169 Female (girls) 87 (43.5%) 64 (53.3%) 151 Total (Ʃ) 200 (100%) 120 (100%) 320 The abbreviations in the whole text: n = number of participants or frequencies; % = percentage. Figure 2.1. Percentage of sports active and sports inactive adolescent boys and girls. Figure 2.1 presents the proportion of sports active and sports inactive boys and girls. There were more sports active girls (n=87; 57.62%) in the sample than sports inactive girls (n=64; 42.38%) and more sports active boys (n=113; 66.86%) than sports inactive boys (n=56; 33.14%). The persons in a research sample ranged in age from 15 to 19 years of age, with a median 17 years of age (Figure 2.2). All participants participated voluntarily without any compensation or benefit for their participation, and