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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 July;60(7):1049-55

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10550-4


language: English

Enjoyment and self-reported physical competence according to Body Mass Index: international study in European primary school children

Matteo GIURIATO 1 , Nicola LOVECCHIO 2, Jaroslaw FUGIEL 3, Guillermo F. LOPEZ SANCHEZ 4, Maret PIHU 5, Arunas EMELJANOVAS 6

1 Department of Human Science, University of Verona, Verona, Italy; 2 Unit of Sport Science, Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy; 3 Faculty of Physical Education, University School of Physical Education, Wroclaw, Poland; 4 Faculty of Sports Sciences, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain; 5 Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; 6 Institute of Health Sciences, Medical Faculty, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

BACKGROUND: The enjoyment represents children as crucial factor to maintain positive engagement in physical activity. Unfortunately, enjoyment decreases with age and undergoes the physical perceived competence that, in turn, is affected by the anthropometric characteristics. The aim of this study was to evaluate the enjoyment during physical education lessons, even though the anthropometric characteristics affects the performance and in consequence the self-perceived physical competence.
METHODS: A total of 1999 children (girls =998; boys=1001) were interviewed with Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PACES) and International Fitness Scale (IFIS) questionnaires. The scores were matched with BMI to evaluate the relationships with anthropometric characteristics. No parametric analysis of variance was used to define the categorical differences within the score of the two questionnaires according to BMI and age.
RESULTS: The PACES questionnaire revealed a general score of 50.96 with the highest mean value for the item n.1 (“I enjoy it”). This questionnaire confirmed a significant decrease with age (cut-off eight years) while no differences were found within sex and BMI categories. The IFIS showed a decrease from 8 to 11 years (male and female) and significant differences were found within BMI categories.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggested that attention should be paid to improve enjoyment during physical education lessons since the age of eight years in order to improve the positive perceptions of physical competence and then the reinforcement for enjoyment that in turn improve the positive attitude for physical activity.

KEY WORDS: Pleasure; Body Mass Index; School Child; Physical education and training

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