FACTORS INFLUENCING LEISURE TIME PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OF CHILDREN

Vidmantas Katasanovas, Vytautas Katasanovas, Žilvinas Stankevičius

Santrauka


Grounding of research.Scientific problem discussed in the article-what factors influence children’sleisure time physical activity. Inorder to choose the right means to encourage children to be more physicalactive, it is important to analyse what factors can influence this. Leisure time is an important routine ofchildren’s everyday life, and engaging into physical activities during leisure time brings a lot of benefits.Theproblem isrelevantasit is important to discuss all the aspects related to the ways that could encourage childrenfor physical activity, including the analysis of factors, influencing their leisure time physical activity.Thegoalof research–to analysefactors influencingleisure time physical activity physical activity of children. Objectsof research: To discuss importance of leisure time physical activity for children.To identify groups of factorsimportantfor children leisure time physical activity physical activity. Research object subject–factorsinfluencingleisure time physical activity physical activity of children. Qualitative methods were used in thisarticle, performing comparative analysis of scientific literature. Scientific articles discussing results ofempirical 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 importantfor children for overall benefit of physical activity for their physical and mental health (in childhood and infuture). According to the theories explaining factors influencing leisure time physical activity such groups offactors may be determined: psychosocial factors (internal factors), environmental factors including factors ofsocial support (family, school), physical environment and political factors. Results reveal that psychologicalfactors, such as extraversion, conscientiousness, enjoyment, self-efficacy are related to higher levels ofphysical activity. Gender also matters–boys are usually more physically active that girls (especially there aregreat differences in adolescence). Influence of socioeconomic factors is not obvious (smaller children’sphysical activity does not correlate to financial state of family, but it does in later age). Parents may have greatinfluence on children’s physical activity modelling, encouraging, providing and involving their children withphysical activities. But children’s physical activity is negatively influenced if home surroundings encouragesedentary leisure time activities. Efforts of school to create availability of organized physical activities withsupervision, also rational daytime table, giving children time for being physically active, may have benefit.However neighbourhood environmental and facility factorsare notrelevant to explain children’s andadolescents’ physical activity.Main conclusions of research.1. Physical activity should be a part of leisure time routine, assuringthat children would be physically active daily.2. Two main groups of factors can be treated as significant inaffecting physical activityof children: psychosocial factors, and factors of social support (family, home,school). Neighbourhood environmental and facility factorsare notrelevant to explain children’s andadolescents’ physical activity. In the context of what was discussed above.Keywords:leisure time,physical activity,children,adolescents.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.33607/elt.v2i6.222

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