Effect of Physical Education on the Physical Activity Level of School Children Aged 8- 13 Years in Kampala district
Kemigisha, Isabella Carmella
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Background: Physical inactivity among children has become an issue of concern in both developing and developed countries. The issues of physical inactivity are currently increasing among school children and this can be attributed to a number of factors such as the increased time spent on sedentary activities and also increased competition among different schools that end up scraping off physical education classes. PE has been also associated with realization of benefits to young people that include: psychological development by improving control over symptoms of anxiety and depression; lead to social economic development through provision of opportunities for self-expression, building self-confidence, social interaction and integration; and adoption of other healthy behaviours like avoiding tobacco, alcohol and drug use; demonstrate higher academic performance at school. This study was conducted to find out the effect of PE on the PA levels of school children aged between 8 – 13 years in Kampala. Methods: A cross section study was conducted involving 200 participants from purposively selected schools those that do physical education and those that do not. The participants filled the physical activity questionnaire (PAQ-C). The data was analysed using SPSS V.20 software. Chi-square test was used to test for significance of association at a confidence interval of 95%. Results: There was inadequate PA relative to international recommendations. The main findings of the study indicate significant differences in physical activity levels according to gender, age group and type of school. Majority (68%) of the children were moderately physically active and the rest were in low and high levels at 26% and 6% respectively. There was a significant association between the type of school with the level of physical activity at p<0.000. Conclusion: There is inadequate physical activity among children aged between 8-13years and physical education has an effect on the physical activity level as schools with physical education had children with higher physical activity levels.