2018, Volume 10, Issue 3
Physical activity and spatial use during school breaks in children aged four
Oscar Romero-Ramos1, Emilio Fernández-Rodríguez2, Antonio Matas Terrón1, Gloria González-Campos3, Robert Podstawski4
1Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Málaga
2Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Sevilla
3University of Sevilla, Faculty of Educational Sciences
4Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn
Author for correspondence: Oscar Romero-Ramos; Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Málaga; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: The latest studies warn of obesity levels and sedentary lifestyles in children, and of the impact this has on health. This study analyses the quantity of physical activity and the use of space during school breaks, according to gender, in four-year-old pupils.
Material and methods: Pedometers and behavioural mapping were used as recording tools. Four behavioural categories were identified and 10 spatial categories. The procedure involves the development of primary measures (frequencies of appearance of each category and duration), as well as secondary measures (relative frequency, rate, relative duration and average duration). In addition to these descriptive measures, a correlation analysis was applied ( Spearman’s product-moment correlation coefficient) to the zone records, depending on time, taking into account that these records are measured at scalar level.
Results: The behavioural category that occurs most frequently is Dynamic Activity and there are no significant differences in the amount of physical activity engaged in during school break time when it comes to gender. The multizone category dominates in spatial use, although there are areas that are underutilised and others where activity is concentrated.
Conclusions: According to spatial use frequencies, both sexes share the same play space and there are no differences in spatial use according to gender. The dominant behavioural category is Dynamic Activity (DA), which equates to only 54% of school break time. We believe it would be interesting to increase this physical practice time during breaks, as a way of combating sedentary lifestyles in childhood.
Key words: pedometer, spatial use, early years education, obesity, health