Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Associations between the school environment and adolescent girls' physical activity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Joanna Kirby, Kate A. Levin, Joanna Catherine Inchley

School/Research organisations


This paper explores school sports facility provision, physical education allocation and opportunities for physical activity and their association with the number of days adolescent girls participate in at least 60 min of moderate-vigorous physical activity per week (MVPAdays). Data were collected through self-administered questionnaires from Scottish secondary school girls (n = 1978) and head teachers (n = 123) participating in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children 2005/06 study. The best predictor of adolescent girls' MVPAdays was hours allocated to PE in fourth year of secondary school (beta = 0.27, 95% CI 0.06-0.48). Having shower facilities resulted in decreased MVPA (beta = -0.51, CI -0.90 to -0.12), as did providing less than two team sports clubs (beta = -0.69, CI -1.28 to -0.10), compared with schools who provided four or more. Compared with schools with no after school clubs, girls who attended schools with activities at least 1 day per week were likely to have increased MVPAdays. PE allocation and extra-curricular clubs are likely to be of greater importance to girls' participation than school facilities per se. This study demonstrates how schools can maximize their environment to increase girls' PA and offers encouraging findings for those with limited sports facilities.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-114
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number1
Early online date10 Oct 2011
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

    Research areas


Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Do social support and eating family meals together play a role in promoting resilience to bullying and cyberbullying in Scottish school children?

    Shaw, R. J., Currie, D. B., Smith, G. S., Brown, J., Smith, D. J. & Inchley, J. C., 14 Sep 2019, In : SSM - Population Health. 9, 9 p., 100485.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Domains of spirituality and their associations with positive mental health: a study of adolescents in Canada, England and Scotland

    Michaelson, V., King, N., Inchley, J., Currie, D., Brooks, F. & Pickett, W., Aug 2019, In : Preventive Medicine. 125, p. 12-18

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Vigorous physical activity in relation to family affluence: time trends in Europe and North America

    Sigmundová, D., Sigmund, E., Tesler, R., Ng, K. W., Hamrik, Z., Mathisen, F. K. S., Inchley, J. & Bucksch, J., 5 Jul 2019, In : International Journal of Public Health. First Online, 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Do country-level environmental factors explain cross-national variation in adolescent physical activity? A multilevel study in 29 European countries

    Weinberg, D., Stevens, G. W. J. M., Bucksch, J., Inchley, J. & de Looze, M., 3 Jun 2019, In : BMC Public Health. 19, 11 p., 680.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Road map towards a harmonized pan-European surveillance of obesity-related lifestyle behaviours and their determinants in children and adolescents

    Hebestreit, A., Thumann, B., Wolters, M., Bucksch, J., Huybrechts, I., Inchley, J., Lange, C., Lien, N., Manz, K., Slimani, N., van der Ploeg, H. P. & Ahrens, W., May 2019, In : International Journal of Public Health. 64, 4, p. 615-623 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Socio-environmental influences on physical activity among young people: a qualitative study

    Kirby, J., Levin, K. A. & Inchley, J., 2013, In : Health Education Research.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Adolescent risk behaviours and mealtime routines: does family meal frequency alter the association between family structure and risk behaviour?

    Levin, K. A., Kirby, J. & Currie, C., Feb 2012, In : Health Education Research. 27, 1, p. 24-35 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Inequalities in toothbrushing among adolescents in Scotland 1998-2006

    Levin, K. A. & Currie, C. E., Feb 2009, In : Health Education Research. 24, 1, p. 87-97 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. National and school policies on restrictions of teacher smoking: a multilevel analysis of student exposure to teacher smoking in seven European countries

    Wold, B., Torsheim, T., Currie, C. E. & Roberts, C., 2004, In : Health Education Research. 19, 3, p. 217-226 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 16904650