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Females and Stages of Physical Activity in Schools

             The reasons why females drop out of physical activity at the two transitional stages of adolescence.
             PE (Physical Education) – Curriculum based physical activity done within education.
             Physical activity – 'Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure' (WHO, 2015).
             As there is a worldwide obesity crisis, there is much research looking into the participation of physical activity. Previous literature indicates that adolescent females have lower participation rates than males and tend to drop out of physical activity from the ages of 10 – 19. The study aimed to look into the reasons why females tend to drop out of physical activity at the two transitional stages of secondary education i.e. primary to secondary school and post 16.
             The study used a stratified random sample of 87 students (47 year 7 and 40 year 12) students from a secondary school in West Yorkshire. The study used self-administered questionnaires which were completed and handed back for analysis.
             Results from the study found that there were many more inactive students from the year 12 sample. Their answers varied between the two age groups with the older sample showing to have more awareness and knowledge regarding physical activity. The findings suggested that as PE becomes no longer mandatory, many drop out and become inactive adolescents. Personal reasons for both taking and not taking part proved to be most agreed with which related to much of the previous literature.
             There were many factors which affect the participation of females in physical activity. Those identified were personal, lifestyle and competence reasons. The barriers and motivational factors changed with the two different age groups. The findings from this study prove to be similar to that of previous research, in terms of most common barriers/motivational factors and physical activity patterns.

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