Physical activity promotion as a school priority : what do parents think?
Rachele, Jerome N., Cuddihy, Thomas F., Washington, Tracy L., & McPhail, Steven M. (2014) Physical activity promotion as a school priority : what do parents think? In AIESEP 2014 World Congress, 10-13 February 2014, University of Auckland, Auckland. (Unpublished)
The demands and responsibilities placed on schools in contemporary education systems are vast. However, with growing obesity levels and physical inactivity, the prevention of chronic disease has focused on youth populations, with schools playing the focal educative asset in this strategy. Parents play a decisive role in their child’s educational setting, and as fee and tax payers, are ultimately a consumer. Parents (82 males and 208 females) of secondary school children were recruited from three private (n=151) and two government schools (n=150) in Brisbane, Australia. The mean (standard deviation) age was 44.57 (6.21) years. Participants responded to a series of questions about physical activity at their child’s school, in addition to completing the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, frequency distributions and logistic regressions. Parents were deemed sufficiently physically active if they participated in at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week. Overall, 83 (59.7%) parents from private and 60 (50.8%) parents from government schools were deemed sufficiently physically active. Concerning whether physical activity promotion should be a priority at their child’s school, 111 (73.5%) parents from private schools either agreed or strongly agreed, as opposed to 97 (64.7%) parents from government schools. Logistic regressions indicated that the concept of physical activity promotion being prioritised at schools was dependent on whether the child attended a private school (OR =1.34, z = 2.30, p = 0.02), and whether the participant was sufficiently active (OR =.71, z = -2.48, p = 0.01). Physical activity promotion within schools may provide substantial future benefits on a population scale. The demands on schools may need to be addressed to meet the needs of students and the desires of their parents.
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