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Table 3 Studies investigating the trends of sport participation for community dwelling older adults

From: Sport and ageing: a systematic review of the determinants and trends of participation in sport for older adults

Ref & Year Design* Method Sample (n) Country Age (yrs) Cohort Sex** Aim Sport and/or PA**** Sport*** Theory Key finding(s) Score (out of 1.0)*****
[52] (2009) Quant Cross & Long 3012–31,915 Germany 16- > 64 Community dwelling adults? M&F Determine whether the traditional assumption of decreasing sports activity with increasing age is still appropriate PA & sport General sport activities   In cross sectional analyses, sport participation was lower in older age groups. However longitudinally participation decreases with age for men but not women 0.65
[58] (2013) Quant Cross 4199 The Netherlands 58–67 Retired older adults M&F Investigate the trend in sport participation among retirees between 1983 and 2007 PA & sport General sports   Successive cohorts of retirees are increasingly likely to participate in sport compared to pre-1983
Level of education can positively affect sport participation in later life, however physical limitations can negatively affect sport participation in later life
[56] (2011) Quant Cross 1739 Germany 50+ Community dwelling adults M&F Describe sport participation across the life course, and to what extent people’s previous experience of sport influences the decision to enter, return or exit participation in sport Sport General sports Lifecourse approach The longer a participant engaged in sport, the less likely drop out occurred. If participants started sport before the age of 30, they were more likely to leave it in the following 10–15 years than those who began playing sport at an older age. Women are more likely to start playing sport in later life than men. The timing of the introduction of sport policy seems to have a stronger effect on participation for those who had reached no older than middle adulthood at the time it was introduced than prior history in sport 0.77
[57] (1994) Quant Cross 439 Japan 60+ Masters & non-Masters participants M&F Compare two very different elderly populations to examine the diversity or heterogeneity in sport participation over time PA & sport General sports Continuity Masters sport participants played sport over the lifespan and reflect concepts in continuity theory. However, lifelong sport participation for non-Masters participants is more varied than Masters participants 0.59
[59] (1999) Qual Case study 1 USA 68 Retired older adults M Explore through narrative inquiry the events that characterised the life story of a senior-aged competitive sport participation Sport Baseball & Tennis Continuity Participant intimates that he was engaged in sport as a child and has continued his engagement in sports, albeit different sports dependent on life stage, into older age 0.85
[53] (2012) Quant Cross 5160–22,255 Spain 15–74 Community dwelling adults M&F Assess the trend in prevalence of Spanish adults who engaged in sports activities from 2000 to 2010 PA & sport General sports   Sport participation from 2000 to 2010 showed a decrease in participation for older adults 0.7
[54] (2005) Quant Cross 8624–38,376 Belgium 19–77 Community dwelling adults M&F Examine stratification patterns with regard to different modes of sport participation PA & sport General sports   Sport participation decreases with age. A change in sport policy has ensured active involvement in sport is now socially acceptable for whole population 0.6
[55] (2011) Quant Cohort cross 5851–51,808 Belgium 19–90 Community dwelling adults M&F Analyse social stratification patterns in adults’ sports participation PA & sport General sports in sport clubs   Influence of adolescent sport participation decreases over time. Older adults less likely to participate in club-organised sport than younger people 0.65
  1. * Research design: quant = quantitative research methods, qual = qualitative methods. ** Sex: F = female, M = male, M&F = both male and female. *** General sports = not one specific sport. A mix of different sports. **** Sport and/or PA: Sport = articles that only report on sport, PA & Sport = articles that report on both types of exercise but provide sport specific results. ***** Quality ratings: 08.-1 = good, 0.61–.079 = moderate, 0.0–0.6 = poor