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Fundamentals of Physical Education in Primary Education: An update

A deep understanding of the fundamentals of Physical Education is essential for all Primary Education teachers of the specialty. Therefore, the present book chapter aims to update the concepts, benefits, recommendations, and promotion strategies related to Physical Education in Primary Education. Nowadays, there are numerous concepts and related terms linked to Physical Education, which have certain similarities and differences between them. Physical Education could be defined as a school subject that is responsible for educating through movement, understood as the integration of all knowledge, procedures, and attitudes related to motor behavior (Mayorga-Vega, 2020). Thus, ”Physical Education”, which should not be mistakenly considered as synonymous with other terms such as ”motor skills”, ”psychomotor skills”, ”gymnastics”, and ”corporal expression”, refers to the school subject whose central axis is physical activity. For their part, the terms ”physical activity”, ”physical exercise”, ”sedentary behavior”, ”physical inactivity” and ”movement behaviors” are mainly linked to the movement itself and metabolism. Furthermore, the terms ”motor game”, ”sport”, ”school sport”, ”recreational sport” and ”institutional sport” are types of physical activity mainly linked to the playful and regulation aspects. Regarding the benefits, scientific evidence shows that there is a positive relationship between physical activity, especially moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and health among schoolchildren (World Health Organization, 2020). On the other hand, the amount of time spent in sedentary behaviors seems to be negatively associated with health among schoolchildren (World Health Organization, 2020). Recently, the World Health Organization (2020) established guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behavior. According to the World Health Organization’s recommendations, schoolchildren should do at least an average of 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity across the week, incorporating at least 3 days of vigorous physical activity. Moreover, schoolchildren should also limit their amount of time spent on sedentary behavior, particularly the amount of recreational screen time. With the aim of contributing to these daily guidelines, specific recommendations have also been proposed for different contexts. For instance, during Physical Education schoolchildren should spend at least 50% of their class time in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (Association for Physical Education, 2020). Finally, different strategies have been proposed for the promotion of physical activity and reduction of time on sedentary behavior among schoolchildren, such as promoting active commuting to and from school, increasing the frequency and quality of Physical Education classes, encouraging physical activity during school recesses, carrying out active breaks and physically active lessons during regular class of other curricular areas, reducing homework, or promoting physical activity during leisure time.

Palabras clave

Physical Activity School Schoolchildren Sedentary Behavior Sport

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Daniel Mayorga-Vega

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Carolina Casado-Robles

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Santiago Guijarro-Romero

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