Youths’ Use Of Time From Comparative, Historical And Developmental Perspectives

Authored by: Jiri Zuzanek

Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415840033
eBook ISBN: 9780203795002
Adobe ISBN: 9781134469932

10.4324/9780203795002.ch4

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Abstract

Much of public attention to sports and physically active leisure is focused today on professional sports and is driven by commercial interests, in particular interests of mass media. Paradoxically this attention to professional sports is often accompanied by a rise of passive lifestyles among the population at large. Put simply, the interest in professional sports, which should ideally serve as a stimulus for participation in physically active pursuits, often produces growing numbers of couch potatoes. Lifestyle changes accompanying technological advancements of industrial and post-industrial societies, such as automobiles, TV, mobile phones and the internet have reduced the need and the realm for active physical activity and increased the risk of sedentary lifestyles. Under these circumstances, the question about youths’ participation in sports and outdoor and physically active leisure assumes particular importance. As a life-cycle group, youth was always positioned ahead of other population groups in sports and outdoor activities. Sports involvement usually subsides with aging due to economic, employment and family constraints. The decline of involvement in physical activities is, however, particularly steep among individuals who missed the opportunity of such involvement when they were young.

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