Math & Engineering

Student's Interest In Physical Activity

Student's Interest In Physical Activity
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  67   STUDENT'S INTEREST IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Mladen Stanković, Božo Bokan, Miloš Marković, Sandra Radenović   Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Belgrad Introduction   Student interests are diverse, depending on the individual, however what is in common to all students is motion. In order to satisfy the need for motion, which, due to today's way of living, is more and more neglected, students, regardless of orientation, should have regular physical activity during their studies.   Today’s way of living is correlated to the advancement of technology, whereby students are enabled to sit down and fulfill obligations from home that they once had to get out of the house and walk a certain distance for. Regular physical activity is one of the key factors for a healthy life. It is impossible to list all the positive effects of physical activity, but no doubt some of them include health and lifestyle improvements, extended life expectancy and reduced risk of chronic non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, blood vessels disease, diabetes, etc. (Ugarkovic, 1996). In the relevant literature, cultural, social and economic factors that adversely affect health can be distinguished: 1. lack of physical activity; 2. stress; 3. low incomes and poverty; 4. inadequate medical and social care and poor availability of health and social services; 5. lack of low-cost recreational activities and non-existance of parks and gardens; 6. excessive smoking, consumption of alcohol and illicit drugs, practicing unsafe sex; 7. life in areas with high crime rates; 8. non-implementation of occupational safety measures; 9. poor living conditions, humidity, cold and insufficient living space; 10. lack of buying or preparation of healthy meals; 11. inadequate child care and inadequate socialization; 12. poor transport planning, inaccessibility of public transport; 13. unemployment; 14. consumption of "fast food" and other types of foods that are not healthy; 15. life in industrial areas with high risk of pollution, traffic congestion and poor air quality; 16. social isolation and social exclusion - life on the margins of the society, without the possibility of controlling one's own life; 17. long working hours, stressful or risky working conditions; 18. poor school and health education and lack of awareness about the health services availability (Gidens, 2005: 160). Therefore, the lack of physical activity is the main cause of a negative impact on health, according to Gidens. Due to sedentary lifestyle students bodies literally "scream" for physical activity, however if students engage in physical activity, not only the improvement in the quality of their lives will be observed, but their time will be spent well on healthy habits. Acceptance of physical education as a merit is a significant indicator for determination of the degree for participation in programs that are designated as sports-recreational (Galić, 1995). Physical education from early years of school education plays a major role in this. If physical education in elementary and high schools is presented well by teachers, a positive image and attitude towards regular physical activity will build up among students, thus will result in continued engagement in it throughout the future. In today’s world, it is quite justifiably considered that physical culture, as a product and function of social life and a specific domain of social practice, is a significant factor in economic, social and individual development that is directed towards the comprehensive development and totality of the manifestation of the human personality (Galić, 1995). Simplified, regular physical activity helps in better managing and completion of everyday tasks, and in doing so positively affects development, mood and the overall development of the personality.  68   Theoretical Framework Definitions of Basic Terms   Physical activity implies any activity that in its basis has some form of physical movement, physical exercise and physical exercising, and the results of this activity depend on the individual itself and their affinity for it. "Physical movement - Exercising is an individual human act by which the mechanical changes of one's own body, as a reality in themselves, in a specific human practice turn into value for someone" (Matić, 1998). "The physical exercise, as a basic means and the basic method of physical education of pupils, is a specially selected movement activity which is primarily: a) a biological goal (reaching an optimal level of physical abilities) b) a pedagogical goal (acquiring motor information through the formation and improvement of exercise skills and habits) "(Višnjić, Jovanović & Miletić, 2004). "Physical exercise, as a process of exercising, is an adaptive process that, by applying movable activities, that is, by systematic repetition of bodily exercises (as a complex neurophysiological and biomechanical process), causes positive changes in human capabilities from some primary - initial to desired – final state. "(Višnjić, Jovanović & Miletić, 2004). Interests   Interests are also a potential subject of several scientific disciplines: psychology (developmental, pedagogical, differential), sociology (sociology of leisure, sociology of youth, sociology of work) and pedagogy (narrative didactics). First of all, the interests, as well as all other values, are a characteristic of the human species, and are, in their very essence, humane; they are a complex and valuable product of a long organic matter evolution. (Pantić, 1980). The interests themselves are part of every human being, and each person has diverse interests. As it is said, "Beauty is in the eye of the observer", the same can be said for the interests, that it depends on the "observer" itself, what we are interested in will refer exclusively to us, whilst someone else will find another interest more appealing. As Dragomir Pantic (1980) says: "Interests are one form of (mostly terminal) values for which is characteristic a mind preoccupation with the favorite content and / or dealing with the selected activities." The importance of interests is great. The interests alone show us the scope of students' affinity for some activities, jobs ... Based on these interests an image about that person can be created - what they like, what they are doing, how they spend their free time … Pantic (1980) lists a number of characteristics related to interests:    Interests are an important structural element of the personality    Interests are a universal phenomenon because there is no personality that does not possess a particular interest structure    The dilemma of interests is certainly one of the indicators of personality development and maturity    Interests are part of an active human nature.    Interests are relatively permanent dispositions and therefore mark the personality throughout life    Interests play an important role in all stages of our life. Students’ interest alone in physical activity should be developed not from the period of college enrollment, but from their early childhood, from the first grade of elementary schools, where physical education is held firstly by teachers, then by professors of physical education, up to the point of college enrollment. Developed fondness for physical activity in students is highly influenced by teachers’ proper and systematic work within the subject. The contribution of physical education, especially educators and teachers, would be a proper and systematic work, thus resulting in childrens’ and youth’s acceptance of exercising as a value for themselves,  69   which is best reflected in the efforts to exercise, practiced exercises and in the persistance in exercising regularly. (Višnjić, Jovanović & Miletić, 2004). Review of Select Prevous Research   Of the researches that were concerned with students' interest, the following should be mentioned. A research conducted at the Faculty of Security Studies and the private Singidunum University in Belgrade, titled "Belgrade students’ relationship with sports at the University" (Kordić & Babić, 2011). The research examined attitudes and behaviors of Belgrade students related to sports and determined the necessity level for organized sports activities and more active participation of Universities in the physical education of students. A conducted survey involved the students’ information about the current state of sports at the University of Belgrade, their sporting behavior, their attitudes about sports, and the influence of sports on student life. The results of the questionnaire show that students highly value sporting activities, and that most of them are sporting actively and expect the support of the University for the development of sports culture in the form of new facility buildings and stimulation of the student's sporting behavior. Regarding the very interests of Božo Bokan (1985), in his doctoral dissertation, he studied the interests of primary and secondary school pupils of 13 and 17 years of age, as well as the pedagogues of physical culture, in total 1648 subjects were examined. There were 127 physical education pedagogues included in the study, while the number of primary and secondary school pupils included was 1495. The respondents sample being questioned was determined by three regions of the SR Serbia: Belgrade, Kraljevo and South Morava, with cities, as typical representatives of these regions, (Belgrade, Čačak, Vranje). For several reasons, it wasn’t possible to make a selection of schools within the region, ie. within their representatives – cities, based on the "random sample" criterion, so a “deliberate sample” was used, within a certain number of schools, a certain number of pupils were selected. A poll evaluated by students was a modified questionnaire used by Pantic (1981) in his research, which was taken to examine students' interest. The results of the research are as follows:    An uneven scope of surveyed types of interest is observed among 13 year old male students. The most common interests are: sports and recreation (88.6%), travel (78.3%), humor (74.4%) and military interest (73.5%).    Among 13 year old female students, a very uneven scope of surveyed types of interest is observed. The most popular interests are: travel (77.8%), sports and recreation (74.0%), home-economics (63.4%).    An uneven scope of surveyed types of interest is also observed among the 17 year old male students. The most popular interests are: sports and recreation (84.8%), travel (84.1%), humor (76.7%).    Among the 17 year old female students, the interests are quite diverse. The most popular interests are: travel (90.7%), sports and recreation (69.2%), humor (68.5%), home-economics (65.8%). Dragomir Pantić (1980) in his study "Nature of Interest" very deeply studies the interests alone, primarily covering the interests of children and young people. Following a large number of definitions, Pantic staged a definition of the interest, as used in this paper, which reads: " Interests are one form of (mostly terminal) values for which is characteristic a mind preoccupation with the favorite content and / or dealing with the selected activities”. What is also significant for this paper is that the author separates the term "interest" (attraction, appeal, affinity) from the term "interest" (advantage, benefit), citing a few differences between these two terms. In its paper, the author tried to reach the essence of the very nature of interest based on everything. Dragomir Pantić, Snežana Joksimović, Borisav Džuverović and Velimir Tomanović (1981), in their book present us with the results of an empirical research on development, structure and effects of young people's interest in SR Serbia. The main issue of the research which authors used as a starting point, was formulated in the following way: What are the interests of young people in SR Serbia and what are the main  70   characteristics of the youth's interest? Within the questionnaire, evaluated by young people, 30 summarized scales (Likert’s type) were used to measure the intensity of thirty kinds of interests. The sample of respondents included 3,000 subjects, ages 13, 17, 21 and 26, of both sexes, from Serbia. The results of the entire research are presented on more than a hundred pages, but here we will present only the most important results that will be in the function of our research. Regarding the intensity and widespread interest, of 30 different interests, the following three have the greatest appeal in the overall sample: humor (83%), travel (80%), and sports and recreation (76%). When it comes to age-related variations in interest, it has been shown that three interests are highly quoted regardless of the age of the subjects, which are: interest in humor, travel, and sports and recreation. This led the authors to conclude that these three interests constitute an anthropological constant of youth. Bojana Zdanski (1967) wished to determine how many students were interested in physical education, for some sports branches, and conducted a survey in the IX Belgrade Gymnasium. The survey included pupils of the third grade, 58 male and 72 female students. The greatest interest among female students in relation to the following sporting branches was: gymnastics, basketball, horseback riding, skating, swimming, skiing ... The greatest interest among male students in relation to the following sports branches was: football, skiing, basketball, waterpolo ... Tomislav Acković (1968) believes that the interest in some physical activity or the class of physical education depends on the education itself, therefore the teacher (pedagogue) of the physical education affects students’ attitudes. The research was conducted in elementary schools, from fifth to eight grade, on the territory of the municipality of Čukarica in Belgrade. 1852 students, of both sexes participated in the research. For the question, "What kind of exercise do you like most?" students answered the following: • Boys: football, basketball, handball, volleyball, athletics ... • Girls: basketball, handball, volleyball, athletics, gymnastics, swimming, shooting sports... Problem and Subject of Research Research problem: In addition to the above-mentioned researches, complex results on the interests of young people, especially students, are yet not obtained. An even smaller number of researches related to students' interest in physical activities exist, thus the reason for undertaking this research and contribution with additional knowledge about students' interests in physical activity. Research subject is the students’ interest with emphasis on interest in physical activitiy.  Aim and tasks of the research The research aim is determination and examination of the interests of students, with emphasis on the interest of students in physical activity and determination of that interest’s scope in relation to other students' interests. Based on the defined goal, the following research tasks were determined: • Testing and determination of all student interests for all areas of the survey, • Testing and determination of the level of students' interest in physical activity, • Establishing possible differences in interests in relation to gender, • Examining whether students' interest in physical activity is related to practicing it. Research methods In this paper the descriptive analysis method was applied, and the data used for the analysis were collected using survey techniques. The survey used in the research was taken from the dissertation Bokan (1985), and is a modified questionnaire applied by Pantić (1981).  71   Research hypotheses   The following hypotheses have been formulated on the basis of a previously defined problem, subject, aim, and tasks of the research: H1: It is assumed that students' interest are of a very broad spectrum, H2: It is assumed that students' interest in physical activity is large, and that it falls into the category of most dominant interests, H3: It is assumed that if the interest in physical activity is present, it involves regularl engagement in physical activity, H4: It is estimated that the interest in physical activity is higher in male students than in female students, H5: It is assumed that interest in physical activity does not depend on the faculty major. Respondents sample data   A total of 120 - 60 male and 60 female, first year students from various faculties in Belgrade, participated in the research. The survey was conducted during summer semester of the Academic year 2017/18 at the following faculties: Economics, Medicine, Stomatology, Teacher Education, Philology, Architecture, Law, Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Faculty of Safety Studies. The survey was conducted by the author, with the help of the Student Parliaments of the abovementioned faculties. Instruments, variables and test procedures   Survey research involved a questionnaire for students to evaluate. The questionnaire was taken from the dissertation Bokan, B. (1985), modified in relation to the srcinal questionnaire made by Pantić, D. (1980, 1981). The survey was related to their interests in various fields of work. In total, there were 30 interests that students estimated to be on a scale from one to five, with ratings ranging from one (1) - I do not like it at all, to five (5) - I really like it. For each rating and explanation was provided directly in the survey. The survey consisted of five parts (ie. five different indicators) for students to evaluate: the major that attracts them most, the area of life with the strongest appeal, the activity, then the interest and ultimately evaluation of the list of words and impression that each word has on them. The whole survey included a total of 150 questions. Once the overall results from all five parts of the survey are summarized, one can see how much someone is interested in some activity. The maximum rating would be 25, and the minimum overall rating is five. Before the questionnaire begins, it is explained to the respondents that the questionnaire is anonymous, the survey results are used exclusively for research purposes and that it is of crucial importance that they give solemn responses to all the questions asked, thus contribute to further research related to this issue. Variables: The student's interest in an activity was considered to depend on several variables, whether they are independent or dependent variables.    Independent variables:    Year of study (all of the respondents were first year students)    Gender (male or female)    Dependent variables:    Interests - thirty different interests that were in the survey The interests covered by this research were the following: administration (office work), agriculture (life and work in the countryside), adventure (adventures, undertaking hazardous ventures of all kinds), biology (wildlife in general, preservation of the natural environment), manual manufacture (independent production of objects, using tools, doing repairs, etc.), home economics, show business, sports and recreation,
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