An analysis of self-report measures in comparing physical activity patterns in English and Greek children
2012-10-08T11:07:39Z (GMT) by
The Analysis of Self-Report Measures in Comparing the Physical Activity Patterns of English and Greek Children Educators and health professionals have expressed concern that the physical activity patterns of children have declined during the past decades and many researchers believe that the levels of activity have declined to such an extent to be detrimental to health. However, the research evidence is contradictory. This represents the starting point for the design of a self-report measure of physical activity (interview based questionnaire) comprising two fonns - a week-day and week-end fonnat - for use with English children but modified for use with children in Greece. The evaluation of the self-report measure involved a number of studies to establish its validity and reliability. The interview-based questionnaire involved estimates of children's time commitment to activity therefore to establish its reliability a number of studies were undertaken to ascertain the accuracy of their estimates. A scoring procedure based on intensity, frequency and accumulation of activity during a whole day was developed to establish an activity score to distinguish levels of activity. The study paralleled a similar investigation by Cale (1993) This was followed by investigation of a sample of Greek children aged 11 to 14 to establish their physical activity patterns. The data from this investigation was used to compare Greek children (n= 113) with a sample of English children (n = 199) from the East Midlands region (Cale, 1993). The findings of the Greek investigation revealed that the majority (58%) of the children were inactive and girls were less active than boys and activity levels declined with age. A similar pattern emerged when the results were compared with an English sample. The implications of the study have far reaching consequences for the health of young people in both countries and other international studies. The implications of these results are discussed and proposals for future research highlight the need for much larger scale studies in different popUlation and cultural groups using questionnaires to avoid the time consuming method of interviews. The research also highlights the need for more qualitative analysis to explore the reasons why some young people are less active than others.