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Sport, PE and physical activities in Sweden: a polarization of high and low participation in school and during leisure time
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogisk idrottsforskning.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1298-8186
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences. (affilierad forskare)
2017 (English)In: Changes in Childhood and Adolescence: Current Challenges for Physical Education / [ed] Claude Scheuer et al., 2017Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Sport, PE and physical activities in Sweden – a polarization of high and low participation in school and during leisure time

Suzanne Lundvall, Gunilla Brun Sundblad, The Swedish school of sport and health Sciences, GIH, STOCKHOLM

Introduction

During the last decades several changes in society have affected young people’s physical activity (PA) habits. These changes deal not only with processes of urbanization and choice of schools. They also deal with new forms of communication and screen activities influencing young people’s everyday life, including when, where and how young people are physically active. Parallel with this systematical reviews have shown that physical active students have a better physical and mental health than inactive students. As the rate of participation in club sport among children and adolescents have gone down during the last years in Sweden, questions arise of who is physically active and/or inactive during school and leisure time, as well as what the contribution is from physical education and health (PEH). The aim of the study has been to examine Swedish students and their physical activity (PA) habits during and after school time, including participation in physical education and health (PEH). Another aim was to examine students learning experience in PEH. The results of the study are discussed in relation to results from a similar study from 2001 (The School-Sport- Health study).

Method

Method used was a questionnaire with open and closed questions about participation and learning in school PEH, daily physical activity during school time, as well as questions about sport club participation and screen activities. The sample of schools was based on a previous study from 2001 with randomly, by the Swedish Bureau of Statistics, selected schools. In total 1203 students, aged 12- and 15- years, from 24 schools participated.

Results

A group of 21% (n=256) of the students (62% boys and 38% girls) answered that they were very physically active and participated in club sports over 6 times/week, or over 10 h/week. At the same time a group, just under 21% (250) of the students (equally distributed between gender), reported themselves as physically inactive. A higher amount of girls with foreign background were found in the inactive group. The inactive students were represented in schools, independent of a high or low socioeconomic status. 40% of students knew about school organized PA during the school day. Of these, half of them participated, mainly younger (boys) and already sports active student. Two third of the students spent more than 2 hours per day with screen actives during the school week days. The time spent with screen activities during the weekend was high, and higher than in 2001. Among the inactive group, 35% spent more than 6 hours per day in front of a screen.18% of the very physically active group did the same. Students self-report a higher PA level during PEH-lessons compared with earlier surveys. The students also describe to a higher extent than in earlier surveys, learning experiences that represent theoretical knowledge of physical health and the learning of all-round movement competence and fitness training. Less than 1% of the students declare that they never participate in PEH.

Discussion

The polarization between the very physically active and non-active group has grown. Students describe that they learn about (physical) health and a healthy active life style. Surprisingly few declare that they don’t participate in school PEH. This result needs to be followed up by succeeding studies. There is overall a positive attitude to PEH among the students that can and should be used. School PEH emerge as a resource for PA and health, whereas daily physical activities are underused. Every fifth student choose away from club sport. Screen activities has increased dramatically. In summary, there is a need for a strategy of meaningful participation in physical activity in daily life that involves school, parents and club sport to support a health enhancing environment for all young people.

References

Bailey, R., Hillman, C., Arent, S. et al.. (2013).”Physical activity: An underestimated investment in human capital?”, Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 10(3), 289–308.

Larsson, H. & Karlefors, I. (2015). ”Physical education cultures in Sweden: Fitness, sports, dancing ... learning?”. Sport, Education and Society, 20(5), 573–587.

Heath, G. W. et al.. (2012).”Evidence-based intervention in physical activity: Lessons from around the world”. The Lancet, vol. 380, nr. 9838, s. 272–281.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Physical activity, PE, health, school, sport
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5156OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-5156DiVA, id: diva2:1175841
Conference
12th FIEP European Congress (European Congress of the International federation of physical and sports education (Féderation internationale d'éducation physique), 13th to 16th September 2017, Luxembourg
Projects
Centrum för idrottsforskning 2016Skola-idrott-hälsa (School-Sport-Health) 2001-Available from: 2018-01-19 Created: 2018-01-19 Last updated: 2018-01-19Bibliographically approved

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