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Understanding adolescent physical activity: a mixed method analysis of activity profiles through primary school physical education

Wilkinson, Sarah Jane (2017) Understanding adolescent physical activity: a mixed method analysis of activity profiles through primary school physical education. Masters thesis (MSc), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

Obesity is a key government issue worldwide, with physical activity contributing to reducing prevailing issues. Physical Education (PE) in schools is a predominant setting to target growing participation and enhance engagement in young children. The importance of encouraging young children creates a more likely chance that physically active lifestyle behaviour will continue into latter years. Not only helping short term issues but also producing long term, sustainable outcomes, such as reducing the risk of major diseases and increasing quality of life. This thesis provides an insight into assessing primary school children’s physical education lessons by profiling student’s activity. A self-designed and validated observation tool is used to asses sixteen children in year 5. The tool not only assess physical exertion levels but also provides context of activity against that level: as well as providing data acknowledging each participant’s interaction throughout the lesson. More recently, many researchers support a mixed method approach in such investigation, however there is still very little to prevail. Therefore, semi-structured interviews also took place with the children and teachers: to gain a greater dearth of knowledge so method triangulation can be used to generate further explanations and theories. Outcomes from the study explored into class type and gender differences, highlighting environmental factors too.

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