What makes young people tick? A qualitative analysis of the beliefs and perceptions of school aged children towards PE and healthy living in "the sickest area of Europe"

Joe G. Cowley*, John Kiely, Dave Collins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Scottish children are reported to be among the least active in the world, additionally Scotland has previously been labelled "the sick man of Europe" on account of its poor health record. In response, the Scottish Government has implemented a range of policies with a strong focus on increasing physical activity (PA), Physical Education (PE) and the integration of health and wellbeing (HWB) with the aim of promoting and sustaining PA throughout life. To date, limited qualitative research exploring pupil perspective of PE lessons and HWB exists. To address this deficit, within this study, focus groups were conducted with 39 secondary school pupils (S1-S2). The findings indicated that delivery of traditional PE lessons, prioritising sporting ability, can act as a participation barrier to pupils who consider themselves "non-sporty". Accordingly, a shift towards pedagogical models, rather than simply blocks of sports-related activities should be the priority of educators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20170050
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • activity
  • adolescents
  • health and wellbeing
  • physical education

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