A survey of the promotion of physical activity in secondary schools in Dublin, Ireland
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AbstractAim: The purpose of this study was to investigate the environment, kind and extent of physical activity promotion in a sample of secondary schools throughout the County of Dublin, Ireland. Fifty-six schools participated in this study. Method: Each school completed a structured questionnaire and data was collected concerning general information about the school, the physical education department and curriculum, extra-curricular activities, facilities and resources within the school, staff training and support, school’s policies on health promotion and physical activity and partnerships and community links. The data was collected from the head of school’s physical education department or the school principal. Results: 78.6% of schools reported that the average time spent on PE was 60-80 minutes per week with 43% of schools stating that PE is not compulsory in all years. 26.8% respondents felt their resources were inadequate with schools stating that their indoor (32%) and outdoor facilities (18%) were inadequate. 37.5% of schools do not have cycle sheds or storage facilities for bicycles. 42% of schools have no indoor sports hall, 36% reported that they have no outdoor playing fields and 55% have no hard play area (e.g sports turf). SPSS cumulative figures highlighted that 89.3% of schools offer extra-curricular activities on a regular basis, the most frequently offered activities comprising of basketball (92.9%), athletics (89.3%), soccer (85%) an GAA football (75%). Conclusion: It was concluded that more time is needed for physical activity per student per week but time constraints on an already overcrowded curriculum, would not currently easily facilitate this need. Further support is needed from the Department of Education and Science to improve resources and facilities within secondary schools. It is suggested that health promotion and physical activity should be considered as an additional theory subject for inclusion within a secondary school curriculum together with a structured schedule of various activities (sport and non-sports related) to encourage and embrace all school children to participate and adhere to a physical activity programme.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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