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Title: The levels and patterns of physical activity of 14-15 year olds before and after school hours
Authors: Sciberras, Nicholas
Keywords: Obesity in adolescence -- Malta
Sedentary behavior in children -- Malta
Exercise for youth -- Malta
Obesity in adolescence -- Prevention
Health behavior in adolescence -- Malta
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Sciberras, N. (2017). The levels and patterns of physical activity of 14-15 year olds before and after school hours (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: A previous local study with 10-11 year olds has shown that 39% of boys and 10% of girls meet the daily moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) recommendations. Furthermore, they achieve low MVPA levels before school, even though most primary schools are located in the same village, and after school. Additionally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), Malta tops the list of obesity prevalence in Europe. However, no study has been done on the physical activity (PA) and obesity prevalence in Maltese adolescents. This research project with a sample of 290 adolescents aged 14-15-year-old examined MVPA and sedentariness, particularly before and after school by gender and weight status. Accelerometry monitored MVPA and sedentariness, and adolescent wore an accelerometer for 5 consecutive days. Students were divided into weight categories using the Body Mass Index (BMI), computed from their height and weight. Transport to school and home, activities before and after school, and sport club attendance were measured using a questionnaire. Results showed that only a quarter of adolescents met the 60 minutes of daily MVPA while 35.5% were overweight or obese. Adolescents in the normal weight category were the least active, while obese adolescents were the most active. Boys met daily MVPA more than girls (39.7% vs. 10.3%) and proved to be more active overall throughout the whole week at all times. Boys were more likely to walk to school and back home, engage in MVPA before school, attend organized sport in clubs and engage in unstructured play after school. Girls were more sedentary during the week and they spent more time studying, watching TV and computer use. On the other hand, boys were highly sedentary during weekends, engaging in the use of game consoles. Obese adolescents were more sedentary and watched more TV during weekends. This shows that while they were more active overall, obese children were more sedentary. New policies are required for an active culture and to make PA become an integral part of the day. Furthermore, initiatives such as "the walking bus", before school, and after school sports programs could increase PA and get adolescents closer to sport club participation. More promotion is necessary to increase PA, maintain a healthy weight status, and combat sedentariness in adolescents.
Description: B.ED.(HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEdu - 2017

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