An Outline of the Issue of the Need for Physical Activity among Preschool Children – As Exemplified by BiałA Podlaska Area
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Introduction. Respecting a child's need for physical activity is an extremely important factor that determines proper development of preschool children. To meet this demand children need approximately 6 hours (boys) or 5 hours and 15 minutes of activity (girls) . However, for many years we have seen serious neglect in terms of meeting children's need for physical activity and for staying outdoors. The aim of this study was to define to what extent the older preschool children's need for physical activity and staying outdoors was satisfied. Material and methods. An interview with parents and an observation technique were employed in the study. The obtained data were used to draw up an activity card that included activities undertaken by a child in a period of 24 hours. An assessment of physical activity consisted of highlighting movement activities on the card and noting their duration (in minutes). A proper classification was developed to determine to what degree the examined children's need for physical activity and staying outdoors was fulfilled. Results and conclusions. Movement activities organised in a kindergarten are the basic form of physical activity of preschool children. It is the only form of physical activity for children whose needs are not fully met (slightly more than half of the children). Children with sufficient physical activity (every third child is exposed to the activity defined as satisfactory, while every tenth child's needs are fulfilled to a very good degree) undertake extra (spontaneous) activities such as outdoor games and plays as well as activities selected by adults. The research revealed that it is necessary to increase the duration of daily physical activities at home and at a kindergarten and to hold outdoor games and plays more frequently.
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