Last update:


Arch Hellen Med, 38(4), July-August 2021, 517-523


"Exercise is medicine": Identification of the views and attitudes of high school pupils

F. Zarani, A. Philippou, M. Koutsilieris
Laboratory of Physiology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

╬čBJECTIVE To identify the views on physical exercise and its health benefits of junior high school pupils, and to investigate their attitudes and choices in their daily activities, and possible differences depending on gender and the type of school attended.

METHOD The study sample consisted of 166 schoolchildren aged 12.1┬▒0.3 years in the 1st grade of two school units, the Varvakio Model Gymnasium and the 2nd Gymnasium of Melissia, who participated voluntarily and completed, anonymously, a questionnaire. Student's t-test for independent samples was used for statistical analysis of the data, with the level of statistical significance set at p<0.05.

RESULTS Regarding the knowledge of the schoolchildren on physical activity, the average score was higher in the Varvakio than in the 2nd Gymnasium of Melissia. In terms of quality of life, the pupils of both schools considered themselves "in a good health status, but there is room for improvement". The average time spent in physical activity per week (regardless of gender) was the same for both schools: 4 days a week, for a total of 5.5 hours per week. Only 24.7% of the children reported exercising adequately (i.e., 7 or more hours per week). The overall percentage of girls who exercised sufficiently was lower than that of boys. The sports that the boys prefer are mainly football and basketball, while the majority of girls prefer dance and volleyball.

CONCLUSIONS The children in the 1st grade of the Varvakio Model Gymnasium were moderately well informed about physical activity and its health benefits. Only one in four children in both schools studied was adequately active, with the boys exhibiting a higher rate of exercise than the girls. Regarding the specific sports that the children choose, these differ depending on the gender and the school.

Key words: Attitudes, Exercise, Health, High school pupils, Views.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine