Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 94, Issue 4, pp 272–274 | Cite as

Trends in Vigorous Physical Activity Participation Among Ontario Adolescents, 1997–2001

  • Hyacinth M. Irving
  • Edward M. Adlaf
  • Kenneth R. AllisonEmail author
  • Angela Paglia
  • John J. M. Dwyer
  • Jack Goodman



This paper examines trends in vigorous physical activity participation among students enrolled in grades 7, 9, 11 and 13 in Ontario between 1997 and 2001. Patterns in participation by gender and grade level are also described.


Data were derived from the Ontario Student Drug Use Survey for 1997, 1999, and 2001. Three outcomes of vigorous physical activity were included in self-report questionnaires completed by more than 5,000 students over a three-year period. They responded to the survey in classroom groups during school time. Estimates were weighted and variance and statistical tests have been corrected for the complex sample design.


Comparisons between 1997 and 2001 indicated that, overall, patterns of vigorous physical activity remained stable. However, there were significant declines in vigorous physical activity participation by females and 11th grade students between 1997 and 2001.


The trends for females and 11th graders are disturbing, since they indicate that the normal gender and age differences in vigorous physical activity participation, found in numerous previous studies, are compounded by declining levels over time for these groups.



Examiner les tendances de la participation à des activités physiques vigoureuses chez des élèves de 7e, 9e, 11e et 13e années en Ontario entre 1997 et 2001. Les schémas de participation selon le sexe et la classe sont également abordés.


Les données proviennent du Sondage sur la consommation de drogues parmi les élèves de l’Ontario (1997, 1999 et 2001). Nous avons inclus trois résultats liés à l’activité physique vigoureuse dans un questionnaire d’auto-évaluation rempli pendant les heures d’école par plus de 5 000 élèves, répartis en groupes de classes, sur une période de trois ans. Vu la complexité du plan de sondage, nous avons pondéré les estimations et rectifié les données des tests statistiques et fondés sur la variance.


Dans l’ensemble, entre 1997 et 2001, les schémas de l’activité physique vigoureuse sont restés stables, mais la participation des filles et des élèves de 11e année a présenté une baisse significative.


Les tendances de participation des filles et des élèves de 11e année à des activités physiques vigoureuses sont troublantes, car elles montrent que les différences normales selon l’âge et le sexe constatées dans beaucoup d’études antérieures sont aggravées par des baisses dans le temps pour ces deux groupes.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyacinth M. Irving
    • 1
  • Edward M. Adlaf
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kenneth R. Allison
    • 1
    Email author
  • Angela Paglia
    • 2
  • John J. M. Dwyer
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jack Goodman
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, College of Social and Applied Human SciencesUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  4. 4.Public Health Research, Education and Development Program, Program Policy and Planning DivisionPublic Health and Community Services DepartmentHamiltonCanada
  5. 5.Faculty of Physical Education and HealthUniversity of TorontoCanada

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