Factors Influencing Leisure Time Physical Activity of Children
Grounding of research. Scientific problem discussed in the article - what factors influence children’s leisure time physical activity. In order to choose the right means to encourage children to be more physical active, it is important to analyse what factors can influence this. Leisure time is an important routine of children’s everyday life, and engaging into physical activities during leisure time brings a lot of benefits. The problem is relevant as it is important to discuss all the aspects related to the ways that could encourage children for physical activity, including the analysis of factors, influencing their leisure time physical activity. The goal of research – to analyse factors influencing leisure time physical activity physical activity of children. Objects of research: To discuss importance of leisure time physical activity for children; To identify groups of factors important for children leisure time physical activity physical activity. Research object subject– factors influencing leisure time physical activity physical activity of children. Qualitative methods were used in this article, performing comparative analysis of scientific literature. Scientific articles discussing results of empirical research were chosen for the analysis. Most articles that are analysed were published in 2007–2015. Results of research. Results of research reveal that leisure time physical activity is especially important for children for overall benefit of physical activity for their physical and mental health (in childhood and in future). According to the theories explaining factors influencing leisure time physical activity such groups of factors may be determined: psychosocial factors (internal factors), environmental factors including factors of social support (family, school), physical environment and political factors. Results reveal that psychological factors, such as extraversion, conscientiousness, enjoyment, self-efficacy are related to higher levels of physical activity. Gender also matters – boys are usually more physically active that girls (especially there are great differences in adolescence). Influence of socioeconomic factors is not obvious (smaller children’s physical activity does not correlate to financial state of family, but it does in later age). Parents may have great influence on children’s physical activity modelling, encouraging, providing and involving their children with physical activities. But children’s physical activity is negatively influenced if home surroundings encourage sedentary leisure time activities. Efforts of school to create availability of organized physical activities with supervision, also rational daytime table, giving children time for being physically active, may have benefit. However neighbourhood environmental and facility factors are not relevant to explain children’s and adolescents’ physical activity. Main conclusions of research. 1. Physical activity should be a part of leisure time routine, assuring that children would be physically active daily. 2. Two main groups of factors can be treated as significant in affecting physical activity of children: psychosocial factors, and factors of social support (family, home, school). Neighbourhood environmental and facility factors are not relevant to explain children’s and adolescents’ physical activity. In the context of what was discussed above.
Keywords: leisure time, physical activity, children, adolescents.