Research reveals that women take pleasure in health assessments the least


Girls in secondary school are less likely than boys to enjoy tests to control obesity and inactivity, according to a new study published in peer-reviewed journal Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy.

Running medium distances like a mile (1.8 km) was rated as their least popular fitness activity by high school students, according to a survey of more than 500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in Singapore.

The authors say teachers need new strategies to help young women engage with exercises that are used in schools to measure their endurance and teach healthy lifestyles. With the Tokyo Olympics just over, the results are likely to fuel the debate about girls’ participation in sports.

The researchers found that students between the ages of 11 and 19 rated the fitness tests positively overall. But they were more likely to see the value when they enjoyed the challenges and enjoyed the teachers.

Music, video, pairwork, self-assessment, and all-female teaching are among the recommendations made by researchers to make running more comfortable, and fitness testing in general.

“The students’ enjoyment of fitness tests was a key factor in their positive perception of fitness tests,” says Dr. Masato Kawabata from the National Institute of Education at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore from the team of authors.

“It is therefore of the utmost importance that physical education teachers employ appropriate teaching strategies to provide fitness testing fun, especially for the least motivated secondary school girls.

“Future studies to research the introduction of a healthy, active lifestyle in adulthood through participation in fitness tests in school sports are warranted.”

Fitness tests are usually found in physical education classes, measure cardiac and pulmonary performance, and aim to curb obesity and sedentary behavior, which are global health problems. The aim is to promote learning and the positive perception of activity and to maintain / improve the fitness level.

However, there are few studies of what motivates students about these physical health interventions, and some question their worth altogether. Other evidence suggests that testing students in front of their classmates embarrasses them and the ratings may be meaningless if they find the activities boring.

This study interviewed 221 male and 328 female students who attend state schools and have taken Singapore’s National Compulsory Fitness Test (National Physical Fitness Award, or NAPFA), which includes sit-ups, push-ups and running.

The survey analyzed students’ views on fitness tests in terms of motivation, joy, feelings, understanding, and the role of their teacher. They were asked to rate statements such as “I feel guilty if I don’t take part in NAPFA” and “I liked sit-ups” on a scale from “strongly disagree” to “totally agree”.

The results showed that elementary school children had a more positive perception than high school and pre-university students. The middle-distance run (2.4km and 1.6km) was the least popular test item, especially among female high school students.

Compared to secondary school students, pre-university students gave higher scores for the positive role model function of their teacher. The authors say this suggests that physical education teachers had a positive impact on their perception of fitness tests.

Running has important health benefits and is comfortable, so the authors believe that new approaches are needed to motivate the least interested students.

In separate results, published in the same journal, researchers from the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham found that physical activity through online interventions such as “exergames” on mobile phone apps, on consoles such as PlayStation and Nintendo Wii.

Her review study is one of the first to explore not only the effects of online interventions on physical behavior in non-clinical groups of young people, but also the effects of digital media on physical activity knowledge, social development and mental health improvement.

The team led by Dr. Victoria Goodyear analyzed 26 studies and found that the majority (70%) reported an increase and / or improvement in physical activity-related outcomes in children and adolescents who participated in online interventions. Primary school-age students who took part in physical education benefited from this.

Overall, the studies in this review provide a convincing justification for the use of online interventions – such as exergames – to support the employment of children and adolescents with physical activity due to the positive effects on the physical activity level as well as on emotions, attitudes and motivations for physical activity . .

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