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Title: An investigation of the factors influencing the physical activity participation of 10-11 year old primary school children attending three schools in the Portsmouth area
Author: Burgess, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 1980
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 2004
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Aim: To investigate the determinants of physical activity participation among primary schoolchildren in the Portsmouth area. Introduction: There is a strong body of empirical evidence to suggest a causal relationship between physical activity and health. Although many of the health-related diseases manifest themselves in adulthood, precursors or risk factors for many of these healthrelated diseases appear to be established in early childhood. Studies among children and adolescents suggest that they do not engage in physical activity of the type, duration, intensity and frequency to gain health benefits. Therefore, an understanding of the factors that influence children's physical activity would help us to comprehend how children might be encouraged to increase their participation. Very few studies have described the factors that influence physical activity participation among British primary schoolchildren; this provided the avenue of investigation for the present study. Subjects, Materials & Methods: Participants were 10-11 year-old primary schoolchildren (n=270) and their parents from three schools in the Portsmouth area. A multi-method approach was taken, combining subjective and objective methodologies, to meet the aims and objectives of the study. Three questionnaires, a self-administered report form and heart rate (HR) monitoring were chosen to obtain data about the dependent variable, physical activity participation, and twenty-five independent variables, including home media usage, school environment, socio-economic class and other parental factors. Prior to the main study a pilot study was conducted to evaluate and amend the three questionnaires. Data collection took place during one academic year. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to develop a 'best-fit' model identifying potential determinants of physical activity partlclpatlon among British primary schoolchildren. Results: In total 92.1% of children completed the questionnaires and self-administered report, 72.2% of children taking part in the HR monitoring provided usable data, and 54.1% of children's parents completed the parental questionnaire. The children's physical activity checklist revealed that, on average, children participated in 5.2 hours of physical activity per week (encompassing light, moderate and vigorous physical activities), or 44 minutes per day during the study period, significantly less than the stated physical activity recommendations (Health Education Authority, 1998). HR monitoring of children's physical activity participation during school break-times showed that, on average, children accumulated 15 minutes of moderate-ta-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day, during their school break-times. Multiple stepwise regression models were able to account for 45.3-50.0% of variance in children's physical activity behaviour. 'Community sports partiCipation', 'extracurricular sports participation' and 'having a favourite sports personality' were consistent positive correlates of physical activity among all children. Multiple regression analysis also demonstrated that the determinants of phyalcal activity participation were gender-specific. Conclusion & Recommendations: The present study provides important guidance for physical activity interventions and suggests that efforts should be concentrated on working with schools and local communities to develop opportunities for children to engage in a wide range of sport and physical activities with particular emphasis on those which are likely to encourage lifelong physical activity habits. Future studies, should build on the knowledge presented here by expanding the number and type of physical activity correlates investigated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RT Nursing