This study examined the association between motor skills and pedometer-determined physical activity in a sample of preschool children. One hundred and seventeen children (61 boys, 56 girls) 5-6 years old (M=67.18 months, SD=3.802) who live in Agrinio, Aitoloakarnania Greece, volunteered to participate in the current study. A trained researcher administered the measurements for the assessment of children’s motor skills by using the Short Form of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-2 (BOTMP-SF). Physical activity was assessed by OMRON HJ-720IT pedometers. Based on performance in BOTMP-SF, participants were categorized into three groups, namely, “below average”, “average”, and “above average”. The results showed a statistically significant association between motor skills performance and steps.day-1 (Kruskal-Wallis x2=34.23, p<.001). Comparisons between motor skills categories showed significant differences in steps.day-1 between the "below average" and "average" groups (Mann-Whitney U=50, p<.001) and between "below average" and "above average" groups (Mann-Whitney U=7, p<.001). Results showed that increased levels of children's physical activity encourage and positively affect motor development.
In this study, the mixed Physical Education (PE) model which is presented is currently applied experimentally. This model incorporates Information and Communication Technologies (I.C.T.) in PE high school classes, aiming to enhance students’ interest for the PE lesson, to develop knowledge on health related issues and to promote participation in physical activity (PA) and sports. In addition to the participation at the obligatory two hour PE classes per week, students: a) get support of a dynamic website in order to be informed, to exchange points of view on health subjects, to find specific information, to co-operate and to get involved in interactive learning, b) keep an e-portfolio containing personal achievement records, assignments, personal logs, and evidence of their activity involvement. The assessment of the program will be based on: a) the students’ performance on fitness tests and physical activity, attitudes towards PE lesson, their self-efficacy towards participation in sports and knowledge on health related issues, b) semi-structured group interviews with students and the PE teachers, and c) the report of an external evaluator.
For the last three years Greece holds a dominant place among European countries on youth’s obesity. Poor diet behaviour and physical inactivity are considered the key-factors for this epidemic expansion. The main purpose of this study was to examine physical activity (PA) level in overweight and non-overweight adolescent girls. Additional aims were to a) quantitatively describe the duration and intensity of PA on two weekdays and one weekend, and b) to compare PA level with the international guidelines of PA for health (Cavill, Biddle & Sallis, 2001). Forty two healthy adolescent girls living in two urban areas of Greece, aged 14 yrs (SD ±.8) participated voluntarily at the study; 22 were non-overweight (BMI 21.1, SD±1,2) and 20 were overweight or obese (BMI 27.5, SD±2,7). Their daily PA measured objectively by using the CSA 7164 accelerometer over a 4-day period (two weekdays and one weekend). For each day summary scores were calculated for: a) daily total PA, b) daily moderate PA (MPA) and c) daily vigorous PA (VPA). Compared to their non-overweight peers, overweight girls exhibited significantly lower daily accumulations of MPA and VPA for the weekdays and the weekend. A percentage of 76% of the non-overweight girls fulfilled the recommendation of the 60’min accumulated daily MVPA compared to 21% of their overweight peers. None of the participants accumulated substantial amount of VPA. These findings suggest that physical inactivity is one of the most important contributing factors to the increase of young girls’ obesity in Greece. Efforts should be made to shift the sedentary-light activity to moderate, and to increase the time of involvement on PA over weekend days, especially for the overweight girls.