Presentation of the study ‘The sports habits of schoolchildren in Catalonia 2016’

Presentation of the study ‘The sports habits of schoolchildren in Catalonia 2016’

On April 6 of 2017, the presentation of the study on the sports habits of the students of Catalonia 2016 was carried out, promoted by the Catalan Council of Sport and carried out by Jordi Viñas, of Itik Consultancy. The study, the first of these characteristics, that is carried out at the Catalan level, was carried out among students enrolled in grades 1 to 4 of the Secondary school during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Due to the importance that healthy habits are acquiring in today's society, and in particular sports habits, in children, the conclusions of this study are of special interest to identify preferences in relation to the type of sports practice, the motivations that induce the practice, or the causes that induce abandonment, among others.

Among the conclusions of the study, the following stand out:

  • 72.8% of Catalan schoolchildren are practitioners of some type of physical-sports activity.


  • Among the practitioners, 44.3% of the boys and girls attending school practice sports in an organized way, that is, with a technician who directs or supervises it.


  • By sex, 78% of boys play sports at least once a week after school, on the contrary, only 68.1% of girls.


  • Analyzing according to the place of birth, those born outside Catalonia, both boys and girls, have lower percentages, being significantly lower in girls (48.2% girls and 61.3% boys).


  • Depending on the age, during the period from 1st to 6th grade (primary school), sports practice progressively increases, reaching 80.4%. On the other hand, from the sixth grade of Primary level to the fourth of the Secondary level there is a steep decline to reach 67.7%. As it has been seen in other studies of similar characteristics, the transition from primary to secondary school becomes one of the keys to abandonment in practice.


  • Among boys, the most practiced sports are football (34.6%), basketball (10.4%) and martial arts (7.1). On the other hand, in girls, they are dance (19.9%), swimming (10.8%) and basketball (9.2%).


  • The main reasons why children practice sports are, why they like the activity they do (31.4%), because they are fit (12.9%) and why they like to compete (8.7%).


  • In competitive sport, there are differences between boys and girls. In boys, federated competitions predominate at a higher percentage than in girls (66.7% for boys and 49.6% for girls). If we analyze by age, students in 3rd and 4th-grade Secondary school are the most likely to hold federated competitions (72.3%).

The data obtained in this study help us to take the first picture of the sports habits of Catalan schoolchildren. This will serve as a base study for future proposals and revisions.