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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 March;58(3):348-55

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06611-1

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Maybe it is not a goal that matters: a report from a physical activity intervention in youth

Michał BRONIKOWSKI 1, Małgorzata BRONIKOWSKA 2, Janusz MACIASZEK 3, Agata GLAPA 1, 4

1 Department of Didactic of Physical Activity, University School of Physical Education, Poznan, Poland; 2 Department of Traditional Games and Ethnology of Sport, University School of Physical Education, Poznan, Poland; 3 Department of Physical Activity Study and Health Promotion, University School of Physical Education, Poznan, Poland; 4 Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation Focus Area, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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BACKGROUND: Decline in physical activity (PA), specifically in adolescents raises concerns. Setting goals and strategies are often used to increase the level of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), recently introducing also modern technological devices for achieving different goals. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of two different goal strategies in increasing PA of youth. It was expected that there would be positive relationships between support and goal strategy which would contribute to increase MVPA. Classmate and teacher support scales were used to evaluate support in physical education (PE) classes. Activity trackers were used to count daily steps.
METHODS: Data were collected from 65 late adolescents, divided into two groups: “Goal” (group 1) and “Do your best” (group 2) set with different step goals and strategies. Differences between the terms were tested. To compare MVPA levels with the different level of support they received in girls and boys, a two-way ANOVA was used.
RESULTS: There was a difference noticed in teacher support between the genders in all the two groups in favor of boys. Boys with low teacher support in group 1 indicated a higher level of MVPA. In group 2 when teacher support was high girls reported the highest level of MVPA.
CONCLUSIONS: This study has shown that in terms of MVPA teacher support is more efficient than a goal strategy. The results highlight the importance of perceived teacher support for motivation in PA and pointed at PE teachers as the agents of behavior change, specifically in girls.


KEY WORDS: Adolescent - Exercise - Social support

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