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Physical activity and sport participation book traverses the lifespan

In an age of spiraling inactivity levels and escalating obesity rates across the planet, a new collection of research articles focused on participation in sport and physical activity across the lifespan has just been released.

It'll be a welcome addition to the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education's Perspectives series on topics related to participation in sport and physical activity, says University of Alberta sport psychology professor Nick Holt, who co-edited the book with ICSSPE president Margaret Talbot.

This volume, the tenth in the series, is titled "Lifelong Engagement in Sport and Physical Activity Participation and performance across the lifespan." With contributions from 22 scholars in eight countries and four continents this multi-dimensional collection of research knowledge will be an important resource for students and professors in the field, says Holt.

"Our goal was have contributions from researchers in as many different countries and continents as possible to reflect the international aspect," adds Holt, whose own research focuses on children's and adolescents' participation in sport and physical activity. "We also wanted the articles to reflect physical activity and sport participation across the lifespan, from childhood to older adulthood. Finally, our goal was for this collection to be multi-disciplinary."

Models of engagement from around the world include a chapter from Iran, looking at the experience of Muslim women in sport; another from the USA looks at ways to engage people with disabilities in sport across the lifespan; a chapter from a UK researcher looks at ways of tracking physical activity engagement from childhood to adulthood.

Holt notes that research looking at people's physical activity and sport participation across the lifespan is a difficult undertaking given the time dedication required for longitudinal studies of this magnitude, so the book presents snapshots of people at various stages of life. The editors also note that though knowledge in this field is extensive there are opportunities for more research in areas such as how physical play in early childhood impacts later physical activity engagement, and on the role of higher education in encouraging healthy, active lifestyles, among others.

"The key message of the book," says Holt, "is to recognize the considerable importance of physical activity across the lifespan. There are significant benefits to be gained at every stage of life mental, physical, emotional, social, educational and vocational."


Contact: Jane Hurly
University of Alberta - Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation

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