A study of sixth-grade boys' attitudes led by Lorraine Robbins from MSU's College of Nursing suggests an after-school physical activity program could help overcome the decrease in exercise typically seen in this age group.
Robbins' research, published in the Journal of School Nursing, identified the benefits of and barriers to physical activity and suggested ways to increase exercise. A racially diverse set of sixth-grade boys from two public middle schools were brought together in seven focus groups.
"Recent data show less than 12 percent of boys at this age are reaching federal recommendations for physical activity," Robbins said. "There is an urgent need to intervene as soon as boys reach middle school to help prevent long-term health problems."
So, what is preventing boys from reaching federal benchmarks, which call for one hour of exercise daily? Robbins found the most prominent personal barrier was lack of motivation, and environmental barriers included lack of equipment at schools and few neighborhood options with small yards and parks in disrepair.
Another sentiment expressed by many boys in the study, she said, was they preferred playing computer or video games or watching TV rather than exercising. As for the benefits of physical activity, the most prominent reasons identified by study participants were related to maintaining an average body weight and good physical health, specifically in regard to improving personal appearance.
Robbins and her research team focused on sixth-grade boys because obesity is more prevalent in adolescent boys than girls.
"Although boys are more active, only a small percentage engages in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day," Robbins said. "A lot of boys in both single- and dual-working parent homes care for themselves after school while their parents are at work. Many have limited opportunities for physical activity that are safe, accessible and affordable; this type of situation can lead to unhealthy eating habits."
One idea for increasing exercise discussed as part of the study focused on creating school-based programs, held after school from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Most study participants indicated they would be willing to attend, though they also noted the need to involve parents to ensure regular attendance. Participants also agreed they did not want girls or older boys involved in the program.
"Clearly, to reach boys at this age, we need to offer physical activities that are fun and appealing, providing a viable alternative to the sedentary activities they enjoy now," Robbins said. "In addition, at this age group, it is critical to have someone serving as a source of help or motivation."
She added that because of their professional credibility and direct access, school nurses are in a key position to assume a leadership role in increasing physical activity.
"School nurses can work with principals, classroom teachers, physical education teachers and the school board to raise awareness about the need for and details of effective programs," Robbins said. "Innovative strategies are needed to enhance nurses' visibility as resources in helping students achieve physical activity recommendations."
Michigan State University has been working to advance the common good in uncommon ways for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU focuses its vast resources on creating solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges, while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.
Jason Cody | EurekAlert!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
23.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
23.03.2018 | Life Sciences
23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.03.2018 | Process Engineering