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Weekly sport practice and adolescent well-being
  1. Arnaud Merglen1,2,3,
  2. Aline Flatz1,
  3. Richard E Bélanger1,4,
  4. Pierre-André Michaud1,
  5. Joan-Carles Suris1
  1. 1Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  2. 2Division of Paediatric Medicine and the Paediatric Outcomes Research Team, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  3. 3Division of General Pediatrics, University Hospitals of Geneva and Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  4. 4 Department of Pediatrics, Public Health Research Unit, CHUQ Medical Research Center, Laval University, Quebec City, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Arnaud Merglen, Division of Paediatric Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1X8; arnaud.merglen{at}sickkids.ca

Abstract

Objective Sport practice is widely encouraged, both in guidelines and in clinical practice, because of its broad range of positive effects on health. However, very limited evidence directly supports this statement among adolescents and the sport duration that we should recommend remains unknown. We aimed to determine sport durations that were associated with poor well-being.

Methods We conducted a survey including 1245 adolescents (16–20 years) from the general Swiss population. Participants were recruited from various settings (sport centres, peers of sport practicing adolescents, websites) and asked to complete a web-based questionnaire. Weekly sport practice was categorised into four groups: low (0–3.5 h), average (≈ recommended 7 h (3.6–10.5)), high (≈14 h (10.6–17.5)) and very high (>17.5 h). We assessed well-being using the WHO-5 Well-Being Index.

Results Compared with adolescents in the average group, those in the very high group had a higher risk of poor well-being (OR 2.29 (95% CI 1.11 to 4.72)), as did those in the low group (OR 2.33 (1.58 to 3.44)). In contrast, those in the high group had a lower risk of poor well-being than those in the average group (OR 0.46 (0.23 to 0.93)).

Conclusions We found an inverted, U-shaped relationship between weekly sport practice duration and well-being among adolescents. The peak scores of well-being were around 14 h per week of sport practice, corresponding to twice the recommended 7 h. Practicing higher sport durations was an independent risk factor of poor well-being.

  • adolescent
  • sport
  • well-being
  • mental health
  • overtraining

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