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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 2265

Coursework: Investigating research questions in the Sport and Exercise Sciences

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Coursework: Investigating research questions in the Sport and Exercise Sciences

(4) Do more men use a leisure centre than women?

A researcher is interested in surveying the proportion of male and female users of a leisure centre. He is able to sample 50 users of the leisure centre and records their gender with a 1 (males) and a 2 (females). He hypothesises that there is a greater proportion of males than females amongst all the users of the leisure centre.


The research question is interested in determining whether there’s a higher proportion of male leisure centre users compared to females, using a sample of 50 individuals. The data collected should provide a reliable insight into gender differences concerning leisure centre usage. Organisations such as Sport England would be interested in the findings, as the data can be used for decision making purposes. For example, if the study finds that female leisure centre usage is lower than males, Sport England can use this information to promote their schemes with women in mind. This could have a direct impact on initiatives such as ‘step into sport,’ which encourages young and older individuals to become more active.

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Asymp. Sig.


(a)  0 cells (.0%) have expected frequencies less than 5.

The minimum expected cell frequency is 25.0.

A Pie Chart showing the distribution of male

and female leisure centre users



A Bar Chart showing the number of male and female leisure centre users



There is sufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis, and therefore accept the alternative hypothesis; there are a greater proportion of male leisure centre users than females. Using a chi squared test to analyse the data, it is possible to state that the result was statistically significant (p=0.048). The ‘observed frequencies’ differed significantly from the ‘expected frequencies.’ P = 0.048 means there is a 4.8% possibility the results were affected by chance factors. However, a value less than 0.05 is widely accepted to be significant result.

There are several considerable weaknesses in the investigation which should be taken into consideration, for example, the size of the sample. With only fifty people sampled from a single leisure centre, it is questionable whether any generalisations can be made. In addition, the sample is not totally random; therefore it fails to be a truly representative sample of the population. This would have been very difficult to achieve due to the manner in which the investigation was conducted.


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The high figures for standard deviation from the mean, especially in the international rowers’ sample (32.56 to 2d.p); can be attributed to a number of outliers. The data was very spread, which is shown in Figure 5.


Gratton, C, Jones, I. (2004) Research Methods for Sports Studies, London :Routledge

Mintel, Family Leisure Trends – UK – March 2000, accessed on 8/12/04


Parkin, S.Nowicky, A.V.Rutherford, O.M.McGregor, A.H. (2001) Do oarsmen haveasymmetries in thestrengthof their back andlegmuscles?, Journal of sports sciences (London), Vol. 19 (7). p. 521-526

Russell, A.P (1998), Prediction of elite schoolboy 2000-m rowing ergometer performance from metabolic, anthropometric and strength variables, Journal of sports sciences (London), Vol.16 (8). p. 749-754

Sport England, Driving up participation: The challenge for sport, London: Sport England 2004, accessed on 10/12/04


Sport England, Women’s participation in sport - factsheet, London: Sport England 2002, accessed on 5/12/04


Thomas, J.R. and Nelson, J.K.; (1996); Research Methods in Physical Activity; Champaign: Human Kinetics.

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