Main Article Content

Physical activity levels and patterns of thirteen to fifteen year old boys from the North West Province: Thusa Bana Study

Z Hurter
A E Pienaar


There is worldwide concern over the decline in physical activity (PA) levels among
school children. The purpose of this study was to investigate the (PA) levels and PA
patterns of thirteen to fifteen year old boys from different race groups in the North-
West Province and to determine to what degree this physical activity profile as well
as age and race contribute to low PA levels. The sample consisted of 266 randomly
selected boys from 16 schools between the ages of thirteen and fifteen (M= 14.04,
SD= 0.82) who live in the North West Province in South Africa (51 whites, 183
blacks, 11 coloureds and 21 Indians). The Previous Day Physical Activity Recall
questionnaire (PDPAR) was used to obtain information with regard to the PA of the
previous day of the week as well as a weekend day. Results analysed by means of the
Statistica and the SAS statistical programs indicated low levels of activity in the
group and that sedentary activities such as watching TV greatly contributed to this.
The results further revealed that the metabolic values of between 85% and 89% of the
activities that the boys took part in, represents a value lower than 3 metabolic
equivalents. The fifteen year old boys in the group were the most active during the
week, while the thirteen years olds were the most active during the weekend. The
white and Indian boys exhibited the lowest PA levels during the week and the
weekend. An increase in age did not add to a decline in PA levels during the week,
but on the weekend. The different racial groups indicated different sport preferences
and it was concluded from the choice of activities that culture does play a role in the
boys\' activity patterns and activity levels.

Keywords: Physical activity; Activity patterns; Race; Boys; Adolescents;
North West Province.

South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation Vol. 29 (2) 2007: pp. 41-58