Research Proposal: Physical Fitness in Children

Pages: 12 (4034 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 16  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Sports  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] The results of studies on aerobic capacity and fitness in children and adolescents suggest that physical fitness needs to be placed in the lower priority than developing healthy exercise habits that will continue into an adult. As children grow they will gain size and strength. Children were found to be able to increase muscular strength in response to resistance training and these responses were found to be similar to that found in adults (Fisher, 2009).

Measures of short boost fitness, including the Wingate bike test and 40-50 meter sprints demonstrated that children exhibit lower scores in short burst of this than adults. This phenomenon is not completely understood, but it is suspected to be associated with limited utilization of the anaerobic glycolytic energy pathway, shorter limb length, smaller muscle mass, and a system of neurological communication that is less efficient than those of adults (Fisher, 2009). As children grow, short burst fitness scores tend to increase. When interpreting physical fitness scores for children and adolescents it is important to take into consideration growth factors. The studies demonstrate that children are not mini adults when it comes to fitness.

Temperature regulation is another factor that affects children more than adults during exercise. In adults, increased blood flow carries excess heat to the surface of the skin where it can be dissipated into the environment. Sweating is another mechanism that adults use to dissipate heat during exercise. Children generate more internal heat and produce less sweat than adults. This means that body temperature must be monitored (Fisher, 2009). The most significant finding of this study was that exercise activities need to be age appropriate for the child and they cannot be held to adults standards.

In an evaluation of an eight-week health and fitness program for fifth and sixth graders children who followed a program that included additional physical fitness outside of the standard program offered by the school, it was found that children improved their dietary habits and fitness levels in only three extra hours a week using a combined physical activity and nutritional program (Derri, Aggeloussis, & Petraki, 2004).

Bergeron (2007) explored the question of whether participating in school-based physical activities is enough to help improve the overall fitness of youth. One of the key concerns about youth who are involved in sports activities is the potential for acute and overuse injuries. However, with careful care, monitoring, and education, these injuries can be avoided. Those that participate in sports were found to demonstrate favorable changes in fat free mass. The study furthermore found that participation in sports that required impact-loading and running experienced greater whole-body and bone mineral content and density.

It was found that participants in group sports often did not result in constant physical activity, particularly in the early stages a learning the sport. In the early stages, emphasis is placed on form and learning correct body mechanics. Group sports often involve long periods of standing and waiting around. This can be compounded when the facilities have limited space and resources. As a result, many children do not achieve the level of activity necessary to improve their fitness by participation in group sports (Bergeron, 2007). The results of this study indicate that participation in group sports should be complemented by other activities.

Overuse injuries are the most common safety issues associated with pediatric and adolescent athletics. Over training in children leads to burnout and does not promote lifelong patterns of health and fitness. Parental pressure to compete and succeed was thought to be a factor (Brenner, 2007). Overuse injuries are a key concern in the development of physical fitness programs for children. More studies you to be conducted in this area of research.

Measurement and Intervention

The literature review revealed that what constitutes the best measurement methods for determining proper physical fitness levels of children is controversial. There are many methods available, few of which produce consistent results. In terms of measuring anaerobic endurance, those that involve prolonged, or short burst intensity activities such as running were found to be the most consistent in distinguishing levels of physical fitness. The following summarizes some of the most recent findings in this area.

Measuring fitness levels in high school students is important to make sure that they a retaining the proper level of physical fitness. However, developing a test that is equitable in that yields meaningful results who is difficult. Rowe, Mars, & Schuldeheisz, (2004) conducted a study to evaluate and validate the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT). The results of the study found that this test was able to accurately discriminate between sedentary behaviors, and moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity. The study indicated that this tool is a valuable resource for teachers and researchers in the measurement of physical activity.

The National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE) has guidelines that recommend 120 minutes of physical activity for preschoolers per day. However, several issues have arisen in regards to estimates in the prevalence rates of inactive preschoolers. The first problem is that the guidelines of the NASPE have been interpreted in many different ways. The second difficulty is that accelerometry is considered to be the most widely accepted method for measuring the physical activity level of preschoolers. Despite it's acceptance as the standard in measurement, it has been found to provide widely varied estimates a physical activity. It has been recommended that the NASPE guidelines be updated to reflect measurement methods that are more consistent (Beets, Bornstein, & Dowda, et al., 2011). Studies at address specific interventions were often combined with the goal of refining measurement techniques as well.

Plyometric training (plyo-play), was found to increase physical fitness performance in children. The study consisted of two groups, one of which received the standard physical education format, the other received the standard physical education format combined with a plyo-play program specifically designed for the children's age group. Those that participated in the plyo-play program exhibit in increased levels of physical fitness over the study period (Fagenbaum, Farrel, & Radner et al., 2009). This study represents one of many studies in academic literature that examine a specific intervention and its effects on increased physical fitness. The proposed research will add to the existing body of research in this area.

Procedure

Design

This research will address the problem of whether adding a 2-minute jog, three times a week to the physical fitness program of elementary children will increase their performance on 20 meter shuttle run scores as a means of measuring physical fitness. This study will be a qualitative empirical study. A group of elementary students will be chosen and divided into two groups. Both groups will receive the standard physical education program of the school district's elected. One group will receive an additional 2-minute jog three times a week. A baseline score for each 20 m shuttle run test will be derived before the treatment is begun. The scores will be compared to 20 m shuttle run test scores at the end of the test period.

Data collected for this study will consist of the baseline and post treatment 20 minute shuttle run scores. This will serve as a primary research data. In addition to the primary data information about the child's gender, height, and weight will also be collected to provide greater insight into the data and to help detect the presence of sample bias in the population.

The treatment will consist of jogging for 2 minutes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The jogging will take place around the perimeter of the school gymnasium. This will help to eliminate variables associated with varying weather conditions that may occur outside and could affect the quality of the jogging activity. Students will be instructed not to cut corners and to continue jogging at a moderate pace of approximately 120 steps per minute. The coach or instructor will ensure that the proper steps per minute are being maintained and will provide verbal prompts to encourage proper pace. It is possible that some students may have to walk after a certain time because their physical fitness level does not allow them to jog for the entire time. It is expected that as the students continue, their endurance will build. The coach or instructor will be asked to note students that are not able to complete the entire 2-minute jog at the beginning of the research study.

This study procedures will consist of gathering initial data prior to the treatment condition. Permission to participate in the study will be sent home to parents. Data will only be collected on children whose parents agree for them to participate in the study. Data on the students' gender, height and weight will be gathered at the beginning of the study. An initial 20m shuttle run test will be administered and recorded. The students will then be divided into two groups by random assignment using… [END OF PREVIEW]

Physical Fitness Thesis


Fitness Article Review


Promoting Physical Activity in Elementary-School Aged Children Research Paper


Child Prodigies Term Paper


Physical Activity in Contemporary Society Term Paper


View 452 other related papers  >>

Cite This Research Proposal:

APA Format

Physical Fitness in Children.  (2011, October 13).  Retrieved October 14, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/physical-fitness-children/9857309

MLA Format

"Physical Fitness in Children."  13 October 2011.  Web.  14 October 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/physical-fitness-children/9857309>.

Chicago Format

"Physical Fitness in Children."  Essaytown.com.  October 13, 2011.  Accessed October 14, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/physical-fitness-children/9857309.