The effect of a school physical activity intervention on physical self-perception and enjoyment

Lars Breum Skov Christiansen, Pernille Lund-Cramer, Søren Smedegaard, Anne-Didde Holt, Thomas Skovgaard

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


Physical activity at school can improve mental health of all children – especially if it is tailored to children’s needs and conducted in a positive social climate. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of a multicomponent school-based physical activity intervention on physical self-perception and enjoyment of physical activity among children and youth aged 10-13 years.

The intervention is based on the Self-Determination Theory and developed and pilot tested in close co-operation with schools, and targets 1) physical education, 2) in-class activity and 3) physical activity in recess. Using a cluster-randomized design, 24 Danish schools were randomized to either intervention or control. Study population included 3.136 children aged 10-13 years at baseline. Student survey was carried out prior to intervention and after 9 months. Physical self-perception was measured with the Children’s Physical Self-Perception Profile (C-PSPP) and physical activity enjoyment was measured with the Shortened Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (S-PACES).

At baseline 2.892 children (92%) completed the survey. Mean physical self-perceptions were generally high. On a scale from 1-4 the mean self-perceived athletic competence was 2.95, body attractiveness 2.75, and physical self-worth 3.12. However, a large minority had low self-perceptions. Mean Physical Activity Enjoyment was rated on a scale from 7-35 and the overall mean was 28.7. Follow-up data will be collected in May 2016 and the study examines the difference at follow-up controlled for baseline values.

There is compelling evidence that physical activity can have a positive effect on emotional well‐being, but unfortunately many children and young people engage insufficiently to reap such positive effects. Several school-based physical activity intervention studies find mixed results, and have difficulties motivating the least active. The current study center extensively on this group, by focusing on the social climate generated by e.g. teachers, and by tailoring activities which ensure positive experiences for all and by involving the students in decision making.

The evaluation of this study will show if the evidence-based approach, focusing on the least active and most disengaged children, can increase self-perception and enjoyment of physical activity. If so, physical activity promotion for all should increase the focus on the Self-Determination Theory as a lever for increasing motivation. Solving the global inactivity problem is likely to be dependent on more children and youth having and maintaining positive experiences with human movement in an inclusive social climate.
Publikationsdato28. sep. 2016
StatusUdgivet - 28. sep. 2016
Begivenhed7th Conference of HEPA Europe - Queen's University , Belfast, Storbritannien
Varighed: 28. sep. 201630. sep. 2016


Konference7th Conference of HEPA Europe
LokationQueen's University

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