Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

The Association between Socio-Economic Indicators and the Cantonal Sports Performance in the National Sport Games Costa Rica 2016

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

The Association between Socio-Economic Indicators and the Cantonal Sports Performance in the National Sport Games Costa Rica 2016

Article excerpt


Competitive sports in a globalized world require increased governmental investment and support. National institutions that administer and lead competitive sport must assume new challenges offering better training facilities and competitive conditions for their athletes. Furthermore, territorial policies linked to sports culture development are a crucial factor to observe sports integration. However, some political tensions exist in every place, especially due to the limited budget every city has to face. For this reason, resources assigned to different cities have been unequally distributed throughout history, which means that every geographicadministrative unit (e.g., province, canton or community) should only develop the sports skills in the disciplines where they have the opportunity to excel (Gutiérrez, 2009).

International institutions design and measure the living conditions of countries using different indicators such as indexes that consider diverse domains of development of their inhabitants. For example, the human development index (HDI) from the United Nations Development Programme calculates the average of a geographic area achievements in three basic dimensions of the human development: a) long healthy life, taking into account life expectancy, b) knowledge, considering the rate of literacy in adults (with a weight of twothirds) and a combined net rate of registration in elementary, middle and high school (with a weight of one third), and c) decent standard of living, calculated by the Material Well-Being Index (MWI) on residential electricity consumption (United Nations Development Programme & School of Statistics-University of Costa Rica, 2016). Costa Rica is considered a country with high HDI, and in some indicators such as life expectancy even outperforms developed countries such as the United States (Rojas, 2008; Rosero-Bixby & Dow, 2016). As general information, Costa Rica is a country divided into seven provinces and 81 administrative territories called cantons.

A positive correlation (r = 0.27) between HDI and the physical inactivity prevalence in worldwide population has been found (Dumith, Hallal, Reis, & Kohl, 2011). This is a disruptive finding that means that the wellness and longer life expectancy of the inhabitants reveals less physical activity. That means that underdeveloped countries' inhabitants show lower prevalence of physical activity (18.7%) than the developed countries' inhabitants (27.8%). In addition, 20% of adults are sedentary and physical inactivity is more frequent in urban areas in women and in older adults (Dumith et al., 2011) defining the groups at risk of presenting illnesses due to a sedentary lifestyle (e.g., obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and some types of cancer).

The HDI has been associated to anthropometric indicators such as height (Grasgruber, Sebera, Hrazdíra, Cacek, & Kalina, 2016). In a study on 105 people to discriminate the predictor of the greatest height of inhabitants, it was found that protein consumption (r = 0.85) and the HDI (r = 0.84) were the best predictors to obtain a better height (Grasgruber et al., 2016). An increased body height has been related to best sport performance, for example, in basketball and volleyball (Carter, Ackland, Kerr, & Stapff, 2005; Duncan, Woodfield, & al-Nakeeb, 2006; Gualdi-Russo & Zaccagni, 2001), or better perceived among athletes showing that to be the fastest and tallest is especially beneficial to performance in sports (Krause et al., 2015).

The HDI has also been used in sociological sports research where it has been found an association with player's penalization in worldwide football (soccer) championships (Imperiale-Hagerman, 2011). The evidence indicate an inverse association between HDI and the number of penalty cards (i.e., yellow and red) shown per game in the first (r = -0.24) and in the second phase (r = -0.36) of important tournaments. …

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