Vitalija Putriūtė


This paper examines links between learning load and physical activity (PA) in the upper grades; there is not a lot of research on this subject. The aim is to ascertain how the students’ perceptible learning loads are related to their leisure time PA taking into consideration gender, class, and time spent on doing homework. Modern students are influenced by an increasing amount of information, thus higher requirements are raised. It is recognized that excessive learning load is detrimental to students’ health (Juškelien÷, Kalibatas, 2002; Reynolds et al., 2001; Natvig et al., 1999). The long-term and intensive mental work while learning and when there is no time to rest, leads to exhaustion (Kackar et al., 2001). A. Singh et al. (2012), H. Praag (2008) argues that physical activity helps children to achieve better results in school. Physical activity improves blood circulation, increases blood flow to the brain, all of which can reduce stress, improve mood, causing a sedative effect after physical exertion, which can improve academic achievements. Scientists have made a great progress in the examination of PA and learning achievements, but the results are still inconsistent. Most of the published articles convey the positive coherence between PA, cognition and academic achievements (Howie, Pate, 2012). More than 50 % of 11–12 grades students’ physical activity is not sufficient (Muliarčikas, 2007). The object of research was links between learning load and physical activity. The aim was to ascertain how students’ perceptible learning loads are related with their leisure time PA taking into consideration gender, class, and time spent on doing homework. Research methods: scientific literature analysis, questionnaire survey. Statistical analysis of questionnaire data was performed using SPSS 19.0 for Windows software package. Frequency distribution of qualitative indicators was calculated on the basis of χ 2 criterion, the ANOVA F-test was applied for comparison of averages of quantitative indicators, logistic regression analysis was used to assess the prognostic relations. Results. Both boys and girls had extensive learning loads. The upper grade students experienced the least learning load in the ninth grade. The boys’ learning load was the lowest in the ninth and eleventh grades, the highest – in the tenth and twelfth grades. Girls’ perceptible learning load distribution in the upper grades did not differ (p > 0.05). Both boys and girls groups showed predominance of low PA. Percentage distribution of sufficiently and not sufficiently physically active boys among the ninth – twelfth grades was similar. In the girls’ group, the highest PA was in the ninth grade, and the lowest – in the tenth and eleventh grades, in the twelfth grade PA was higher than in the tenth and eleventh grades. Students who considered having higher learning load tended to be insufficiently physically active. Keywords: leisure time physical activity, learning load, the upper grade students.

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