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Teens cool off from sports with each succeeding winter
Date:3/31/2009

This release is available in French.

Montreal, March 31, 2009 Although winter's grasp has subsided to spring, its effects could have a long term impact on the exercise patterns of teenagers. According to a five-year study published in the Annals of Epidemiology, while teens are generally more active in warmer months, significant drops in physical activity during winter months contributes to a general slowdown in exercise habits throughout adolescence that could persist over time.

Study investigators from the Centre de Formation Mdicale du Nouveau-Brunswick of the Universit de Moncton and Universit de Sherbrooke, the Universit de Montral and McGill University counter that declines in physical activity could be offset by promoting a diversity of physical activities including those that can be enjoyed during winter.

"While physical activity augments in spring and summer, these increases do not compensate for winter drop offs, which contribute to declining physical activity throughout adolescence," says Mathieu Blanger, lead author of the study, research director at the Centre de formation mdicale du Nouveau-Brunswick and epidemiologist at the Centre de recherche Beausejour. "Throughout our five-year study, the average daily number of physical activity sessions among participants decreased by nearly one third. The sharpest declines occurred during the coldest months."

As part of the study, 1293 students initially aged 12 to 13 years were monitored from grade 7 to grade 11. Participants were recruited from 10 schools in the Montreal area and were asked to report involvement in physical activity over different seasons. Results were then compared to weather data from Environment Canada.

"Poor weather is one of the most frequently reported barriers to the practice of physical activity," says Jennifer O'Loughlin a resear
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Contact: Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
sylvain-jacques.desjardins@umontreal.ca
514-343-7593
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

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