Physical activity is essential to an individual’s health, and it is of concern within Northern Ireland that many are not meeting the recommended daily levels of activity laid out by the World Health Organisation (2011). As a result many are not gaining the health benefits that correspond to partaking in physical activity regularly. The issue of socioeconomic status is often discussed in research into physical activity, and it has been suggested that socioeconomic status can affect the sporting participation of an individual.
The study sample for this investigation included 115 subjects, 58 males and 57 females. The subjects consisted of Primary 6 pupils, aged 9-10 years old. The pupils attend five primary schools across Northern Ireland, in a range of rural and urban environments.
A pupil questionnaire was used to collect the data for both variables. Parental occupation was used as a gauge of the average household income which in turn was used to determine socioeconomic status. The pupils were also asked to complete a questionnaire on their current participation in physical activities, and the activities they have dropped out of. The results showed no correlation present between socioeconomic status and dropout from physical activity.
It is the aim of the author to highlight the need for equal opportunities to be presented to individuals of all socioeconomic backgrounds in the hope that participation in physical activity will increase, thereby decreasing dropout levels. In turn this will have health benefits as more individuals will be achieving the recommended levels of daily physical activity.