The psycho-physical effects of daily physical education on pre-adolescent children
This study was initiated because of concern about the poor health record of the population in the West of Scotland, anxiety about low activity levels in pre-adolescent children, and the lack of systematic and regular physical education classes at primary school. A daily physical education programme was established in one primary school (Pilot Study) to examine the effects of an increase in time allocation to physical education on the motor fitness, affective development and academic performance of pupils. Later the programme expanded to all primary 6 and primary 7 children in a community (>N 400) engaged in daily physical education (The Linwood Project). This programme was taught jointly by the class teachers and the specialist teachers of physical education from the associated secondary schools. Although there has been research into daily physical education in other parts of the world, to the author's knowledge, the combination of primary/secondary integration and daily physical education was unique to the Linwood Project. The project was part of a unified concept of physical education which is detailed in the study. The children who were engaged in the daily physical education programme and the control samples receiving 'normal' physical education programmes, were assessed before and after the daily physical education programme. Testing was conducted on motor fitness, academic performance and 'attitude to school'. There was additional monitoring by head teachers, teachers and parents. The findings indicated that the children engaged in the daily physical education programme: had made considerable improvements in motor fitness and were superior to the children on 'normal' physical education; had at least maintained their progress in academic achievements, with some indication of superior attainment in computation at the primary 7 stage; tended to have more favourable 'school related attitudes' than the children on the 'normal' programmes.