Behaviours and attitudes towards physical activity and lifestyle factors: A questionnaire survey of school-aged children

Susan Forbes, Edwin Van Teijlingen, Tom Clark

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    Objectives The study aimed to obtain information on secondary schoolchildren's behaviours and attitudes towards physical activity (PA) and other lifestyle factors. Methods A questionnaire survey was conducted to assess schoolchildren's structured and unstructured PA, television/computer use and smoking activities over the previous seven days. The study sample comprised of first year pupils aged 11-13 years old at one secondary school located in an area of low socio-economic status in Scotland (n=158, response rate 99%). Results Although most children were active at some point during the previous seven days, the majority of children (74%) did not participate in the nationally recommended PA levels. Gender disparities were evident with significantly more boys reporting higher levels of PA than girls. Smokers were associated with lower levels of PA, however sedentary behaviour had a limited effect on activity levels. Conclusion The high level of inactivity amongst this cohort of school-aged children raises concerns about their immediate and long-term health. This study emphasises the need to further address issues surrounding physical inactivity with regard to gender and other lifestyle behaviours.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)125-130
    Number of pages6
    JournalInternational Journal of Health Promotion and Education
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2007



    • young people
    • physical activity
    • physical education
    • Scotland
    • socio-economic status
    • smoking
    • television/computer use

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