Associations between previous sport and exercise experience and physical literacy elements among physically inactive Danes

Peter Elsborg, Clara Heinze, Paulina S Melby, Glen Nielsen, Peter Bentsen, Knud Ryom

9 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity is recognized as a leading global public health threat. Physical Literacy, a concept describing an individual's prerequisites to participate in and adhere to physical activities, has been suggested to be a key concept in understanding physical activity in various populations. The aim of this study was to describe the prerequisites for physical activity among inactive adults in terms of their physical literacy and previous experience with sport and exercise and how these are interrelated.

METHODS: Sample: 1033 physical inactive Danes.

MEASURES: BREQ-3, ESES, the Levels of knowledge questionnaire and the physical self-confidence scale.

RESULTS: Inactive Danish adult's physical literacy scores are generally low compared to samples in other studies. Inactive adults with no or little previous experience with sport and exercise had lower levels of competences, self-efficacy and autonomous motivation for exercise and sport than the inactive with more experience. Previous sport and exercise experience was positively associated to the physical and affective domain of PL.

CONCLUSION: Previous experience with sport and exercise is very important to consider when developing sport and exercise activities for currently inactive adults as individuals with low previous experience have lower competences and autonomous motivation and therefore need lower challenges and other important attention to the motivational climate in order to ensure that the activities are motivating enough to secure continued engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1248
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2021


  • Adult
  • Denmark
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Sports
  • Physical activity
  • Motor skills
  • Physical literacy
  • Motor competences
  • Inactivity
  • Self-confidence


Dive into the research topics of 'Associations between previous sport and exercise experience and physical literacy elements among physically inactive Danes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this