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© Borgis - New Medicine 1/2014, s. 12-18
*Sylwia Merkiel, Wojciech Chalcarz
Analysis of physical activity in preschool children from Piła. Part 2. Motor skills, sports equipment and parents’ attitude towards physical activity**
Food and Nutrition Department of the Eugeniusz Piasecki University School of Physical Education in Poznań, Poland
Head of the Department: prof. dr hab. Wojciech Chalcarz
Summary
Aim. The aim of this study was to analyse motor skills in preschoolers from Piła and to investigate sports equipment owned by the children as well as their parents’ attitude towards physical activity.
Material and methods. Parents of 165 preschoolers from Piła filled in questionnaires on their children’s motor skills, involvement of family members and other persons in teaching the children motor skills, sports equipment owned by the children and their own attitude towards physical activity, including parents’ attitude towards their children’s physical activity and parents’ physical activity. Statistical analysis was performed by the IBM SPSS Statistics 21 computer programme.
Results. Gender had statistically significant influence on the percentages of children who had the skill of skating, rollerblading and skipping a rope, and who owned a skipping rope. Gender had also statistically significant influence on parents’ answers to the question whether their children’s physical activity at preschool was sufficient.
Conclusions. It seems that the low percentages of physically active parents along with the low percentages of parents who stated that their knowledge of the role of physical activity in child’s development was sufficient may be one of the main causes of their children’s low level of physical activity. Lack of the preschool staff’s involvement in teaching the children motor skills is highly unfavourable. It is indispensable to work out, as soon as possible, an education programme for preschoolers’ parents and preschool staff, as well as for the local authorities, focused on the possibilities of increasing preschool children’s physical activity.
INTRODUCTION
Physical activity is of crucial importance to human health and well-being irrespective of age, especially to preventing obesity and other diet-related diseases. Therefore it is essential to be physically active from the early childhood (1-5). Children’s involvement in physical activity depends on many factors. In the literature, the most important and much emphasised factors include the role of parents (6-8) and preschool teachers (6, 9), preschool facilities (10, 11), and even a playground density (12, 13), environmental factors (9, 14), neighbourhood (15), season and weather (10, 16), as well as the child’s health status (17, 18). However, there are few studies which focused on preschool children’s motor skills, sports equipment owned by the children and parents’ attitudes towards physical activity (19-22). Investigating these factors will be helpful for working out educational programmes aimed at increasing preschoolers’ physical activity.
AIM
The aim of this study was to analyse motor skills in preschool children from Piła including involvement of family members and other persons in teaching the children motor skills, as well as to investigate sports equipment owned by the children and their parents’ attitude towards physical activity.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Parents of 165 preschool children, 79 girls and 86 boys who attended preschools in Piła, filled in questionnaires on their children’s motor skills, involvement
of family members and other persons in teaching the children motor skills, sports equipment owned by the children and their own attitude towards physical activity, including parents’ attitude towards their children’s physical activity and parents’ physical activity. The questions on children’s motor skills, involvement of family members and other persons in teaching the children motor skills, sports equipment owned by the children and parents’ attitude towards their children’s physical activity were included in our previous articles (19-22). Characteristics of the studied children from Piła were presented in the first part of this article (23).
This study was approved by the Bioethics Committee of the Poznan University of Medical Sciences. Written informed consent was obtained from all children’s parents. The study was carried out in September/October 2010.
Statistical analysis was performed by the IBM SPSS Statistics 21 computer programme. The studied population was divided according to gender.
For all the qualitative variables, statistical significance was determined using Pearson’s chi-square test, except for the variables with 2 x 2 tables with an expected frequency of less than five in at least one subgroup for at least one answer, in which case Yates’ corrected chi-square test or Fisher’s exact test was used. The level of significance was set at P ≤ 0.05.
To investigate the relation between owning sports equipment and the studied children’s motor skills, Spearman’s correlation coefficients were calculated. The level of significance was set at P ≤ 0.05.
RESULTS
Motor skills
Table 1 shows motor skills of the studied preschool children from Piła according to gender and table 2 shows involvement of family members and other persons in teaching the studied children motor skills. Gender had statistically significant influence on the percentages of children who had the skill of skating, rollerblading and skipping a rope. All of these skills were possessed by higher percentages of girls than boys: 11.4% of girls vs 2.3% of boys in case of skating, 21.5% of girls vs 10.5% of boys in case of rollerblading, and 49.4% of girls vs 33.7% of boys in case of skipping a rope.
Table 1. The studied children’s motor skills [%].
No.Motor skillsGirls
(n = 79)
Boys
(n = 86)
All children
(n = 165)
P
1.Skating11.42.36.70.020
2.Skiing3.83.53.6NS
3.Rollerblading21.510.515.80.052
4.Riding a bicycle43.057.650.6NS
5.Swimming27.822.425.0NS
6.Skipping a rope49.433.741.20.041
P – significance; NS – not significant (P > 0.05)
Table 2. Involvement of family members and other persons in teaching the studied children motor skills [%].
No.Motor skillsWho taught the childGirls
(n = 79)
Boys
(n = 86)
All children
(n = 165)
P
1.SkatingParents77.8100.081.8NS
Grandparents11.10.09.1
Other persons11.10.09.1
2.SkiingParents66.733.350.0NS
Other persons33.366.750.0
3.RollerbladingParents82.466.776.9NS
Elder siblings0.022.27.7
Other persons17.611.115.4
4.Riding a bicycleParents82.468.874.4NS
Grandparents5.912.59.8
Elder siblings2.92.12.4
Other persons8.816.713.4
5.SwimmingParents63.657.961.0NS
Grandparents0.015.87.3
Elder siblings9.10.04.9
Other persons27.326.326.8
6.Skipping a ropeParents64.765.565.1NS
Grandparents0.06.93.2
Elder siblings11.810.311.1
Preschool teacher0.06.93.2
Other persons23.510.317.5
P – significance; NS – not significant (P > 0.05)
Sports equipment and motor skills
Table 3 presents sports equipment owned by the studied preschool children from Piła according to gender. Gender had statistically significant influence on the percentages of children who owned a skipping rope. A higher percentage of girls, 81.0%, owned a skipping rope compared to boys, 45.3%.
Table 3. Sports equipment owned by the studied preschool children [%].
No.EquipmentGirls
(n = 79)
Boys
(n = 86)
All children
(n = 165)
P
1.Skates10.18.19.1NS
2.Skis3.84.74.2NS
3.Ball96.2100.098.2NS
4.Rollerblades26.620.923.6NS
5.Bicycle 96.298.897.6NS
6.Sledge94.995.395.2NS
7.Skipping rope81.045.362.4< 0.001
8.Roller skates16.58.112.1NS
9.Scooter77.268.672.7NS
10.Trampoline2.53.53.0NS
11.Badminton0.01.20.6NS
12.Hula hoop3.80.01.8NS
13.Skateboard1.35.83.6NS
14.Other equipment8.98.18.5NS
P – significance; NS – not significant (P > 0.05)
Table 4 shows Spearman’s correlation coefficients between owning sports equipment and the studied children’s motor skills according to gender. In the whole population, irrespective of gender, five statistically significant correlation coefficients were found: between owning skates, skis, rollerblades, bicycle and skipping rope, and motor skills which require using this equipment. Both in girls and boys, three correlation coefficients were statistically significant: between owning skates, skis and rollerblades, and motor skills which require using this equipment. Statistically significant correlation coefficient between owning a skipping rope and skipping skill was found only in girls. The highest correlation coefficients were those between owning rollerblades and rollerblading skill in girls, 0.73, and in the whole population, 0.70.
Table 4. Spearman’s correlation coefficients between owning sports equipment and the studied children’s motor skills.
No.Correlated variablesGirls
(n = 79)
Boys
(n = 86)
All children
(n = 165)
rPrPrP
1.Owning skates and skating skill0.67< 0.0010.240.0290.51< 0.001
2.Owning skis and skiing skill0.65< 0.0010.260.0160.44< 0.001
3.Owning rollerblades and rollerblading skill0.73< 0.0010.66< 0.0010.70< 0.001
4.Owning a bicycle and riding a bicycle skill0.170.1280.130.2460.160.041
5.Owning a skipping rope and skipping skill0.280.0110.190.0790.27< 0.001
r – correlation coefficient; P – significance; NS – not significant (P > 0.05)
Parents’ attitude towards physical activity

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otrzymano: 2013-12-20
zaakceptowano do druku: 2014-01-27

Adres do korespondencji:
*Sylwia Merkiel
Food and Nutrition Departmentof the Eugeniusz Piasecki University School of Physical Education in Poznań
27/39 Królowej Jadwigi St., 61-871 Poznań
tel.: +48 618-355-287
e-mail: sylwiamerkiel@awf.poznan.pl

New Medicine 1/2014
Strona internetowa czasopisma New Medicine