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  • Publication
    Promoting physical activity in primary schools : Determinants of implementing school-based physical activity interventions
    (International conference of education, 2014-09-18)
    Aim: Evidence suggests that primary schools are key environments for promoting health-enhancing physical activity. Interventions to promote physical activity such as the “Bewegte Schule” programme play an important role in preventing ill-health among children, by implementing physical activity in daily school life. The central idea is to promote informal physical activity in addition to, but outside of, normal P.E. sessions. Although many studies have shown strong associations between levels of health and physical activity, promoting physical activity in primary schools has yet to be consistently implemented. The purpose of this study was to establish factors positively influencing the implementation of physical activity in schools as well as to identify potential barriers. Method: This qualitative survey was conducted using a semi-structured interview (items were based on a literature review). Data were collected from May to June 2011. Ten teachers participated in the study. Results: Findings show that together with supportive structural frameworks, the personal interest, support levels and qualifications of teaching staff are the main factors associated with the implementation of physical activity in schools. Commitment to implementing such a programme is required from individual schools and needs the cooperation of parents. Close collaboration between schools and relevant public institutions and sport clubs play an important role. Conclusion: This study has shown that factors including structural changes and change on a personal level by key actors are necessary to implement the concept “Bewegte Schule”. Finally, the results suggest that physical activity programmes aimed at improving health and fitness in children aged 6-10 years, require a clear aim (by way of a mission statement) and a strategic implementation plan. An increased commitment to “Health in all Policies” aimed at promoting physical activity in primary schools is required. Further research is needed to develop, implement and evaluate physical activity programmes in primary schools.
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