[ Scientific Activity - Actividad Científica ] [ Brief Communications - Temas Libres ]Physical exercise within the school piopulation of Galicia (Spain)
Maceiras Lourdes1; Fuster Manuel2.
Area of Preventive Medicine1 and
Public Health. University of Vigo, Spain.
2General Hospital of Galicia. Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Material and Methods
Introduction:The prevention of cardiovascular diseases implies the control of risk factors, avoiding them from childhood and fostering a healthy way of life that will ease making the right decisions for the health. Two of these risk factors are sedentariness and obesity, so promoting physical exercise in good balance with rest is going one step ahead in the health promotion. In our country, people are realizing how important is physical exercise, but it is necessary to know the present situation in order to evaluate the task ahead, especially in the stages of childhood and adolescence, key periods to acquire healthy habits.
Objectives:To determine the habits and behaviors of the Galician schoolchildren according to their physical activities
Material and Methods:Cross-sectional study.
1. Physical activity other than sports. We considered two aspects:
1.1. Usual means of transportation to school (table l).
Students were divided by age in two groups: EGB and BUP-FP, and we
analyzed the demographic and sociocultural variables. We noticed that the use of school or
public transportation was more common in the rural areas than in the city (46.7% and 16.6%
in EGB, 43.8% and 35.4% in BUP-FP). In both cases, the majority of riders attended public
schools. On the other hand, most urban kids walked to school in both age groups. The ones
that used private cars were mainly private school students.
1.2. Other types of non-sport activities: we analyzed activities besides sports that required some physical effort and could be usual in these age groups (see tables 2 and 3).
Taking into consideration the demographic and socioeconomicc variables, the students of EGB were more likely to ride a bicycle daily in the rural areas than in the urban ones (14% more), it was more common for boys (10% more than girls), and for the public school system pupils. Private school students usually did this activity during the week-end. Playing in public grounds was more frequent in females (10% more), in rural areas and in public school students. Girls also walked more during the week-end than the boys (35.5% to 24.9%). On the other hand, physical tasks were performed two times more by male students.
In the BUP-FP group, more males than females run daily (12% more) and ride a bicycle, especially during the week-end (36.3% and 24% for females). Both actlivities were more common in the rural areas. Playing in public grounds was more popular for males, and walking for females (50% and only 30% of males). Physical tasks were more common for females, especially in the rural areas.
2. Organized sports. We considered here extra-academy organizad sports, that is formal sport practice, ruled and supervised by professionals, usually within the official sport associations, with specific equipment, competitive or non-competitive and after school hours. We excluded the subject of Physical Education, but we admitted those sport activities in the school grounds that didn't take place during school hours and fulfilled the requirements of this category. Spontaneous or informal practices for fun were considered games and would be included in the previous category. We worked with two variables:
2.1. Individual sports (table 4).
2.2. Team sports (table 5).
According to the demographic and socioeconomic variables, we noticed that systematic sport practice was more common in the urban areas, 10% more than in the rural ones. In private schools there was more sports practice than in public ones (20% more in EGB and 14% more in BUP-FP). If we take gender into consideration, sports are more popular for males (18% more in EGB and 14% more in BUP-FP).
The reasons of the students to be involved in sports practice can be found in table 6 y 7
Discussion:The results in 1.1., according to demographic and socioeconomic variables, are more complex than just a different power of purchase. This behavior is also greatly influenced by the geographical distribution of school buildings for the different types of education and according to the population of the area, and also by the climate of Galicia (cold and rainy).
Conclusions:There is more sedentariness than it should be in our children and, especially, in the adolescence. This inactivity decreases during the weekend and increases with the age, with the urbanization and in females. So, the activities to health promotion in this area should be targeted to alleviate those shortcomings.
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