Where do they all come from? Youth, fitness gyms, sport clubs and social inequality
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSport in Society Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics. 2020. 10.1080/17430437.2020.1840554
The exercise levels in fitness gyms are increasing, but little is known about the fitness participants: who they are (social inequality) and where they come from (the link to club sports). Using Norwegian data, our results reveal that the proportion of fitness exercisers has more than tripled in the 13- to 18-year range. The mirror image is found in sports; 7% have never participated in organized sports. Most youths who participate in fitness do so at a low level, while sport participants exercise more often. More boys than girls are engaged in club sports, and more girls participate in fitness. The socioeconomic differences in the participation levels are much greater in club sports than in fitness. The recent ending of participation in organized youth sports is the best predictor of present fitness participation and self-exercise. The longer the club sport career before dropout, the greater the likelihood of fitness participation and self-exercise.
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