Biological correlates of physical activity behaviour among primary school children in Nyamagana municipality

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study examined biological correlates of physical activity behaviour among primary school children in Tanzania with reference to Nyamagana Municipality in Mwanza region. Specifically, the study examined physical activity patterns; differences of age cohorts in physical activity behaviour; sex differences in physical activity among primary school children; and examined the relationship between school children’s BMI and their levels of physical activity behaviour. A quantitative research approaches with inferential statistics were employed in testing the statistical hypothesis. A stratified random sampling technique which is a combination of both stratified sampling and random sampling techniques were used to select a sample of 334 participants. Physical Activity Questionnaire for children (PAQ-C) and Anthropometric measurements were used to collect the data. The findings of the study revealed a significant difference in physical activities that pupils engaged in during their free time in terms of intensity and total physical activity time. Also, the study discovered that physical activity declines with age. Similarly, females’ participation rate in physical activity was low as compared to that of male, thus indicating a significant difference between sex and physical activity behaviour. Sex differences were observed in the intensity, physical activity scores and intensities of physical activities. In both boys ranked higher than girls. Moreover, the study indicated that pupils who participated in moderate to vigorous physical activities have a normal BMI’s Values comparative to those who merely participated in light physical activities (low intensities). The study recommended that both moderate and sedentary children should accumulate at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity of varying level of intensity which is appropriate to their developmental age. Also, Physical education classes should be effectively organised and supervised so that children are given equal opportunities in physical activities. Moreover, in order to improve and make lifespan physical activity opportunities for people of all ages, educational and political efforts should not only be focused primarily on individuals, as a matter of individual responsibility; but also as a collective or structural responsibility. A similar study is recommended for a wider area and wider constituency in order to ascertain a situation of physical activity behaviour in rural versus urban and sub-urban settings.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF GV483.T34N3753 )
Physical activity, Exercise, Primary school children, School children, Nyamagana municipality
Nderego, E. F (2014) Biological correlates of physical activity behaviour among primary school children in Nyamagana municipality, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.