Socio-economic and awareness correlates of physical activity of government school children in India
(1) The International School Bangalore, Bangalore, Karnataka, India, (2) Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka, Indiahttps://doi.org/10.59720/22-064
Physical activity is pivotal for development in young children. Physical activity strengthens the body at a young age, reducing chances of getting cardiovascular and other diseases later in life. Research demonstrates a significant number of adolescents worldwide do not engage in sufficient daily physical activity. This study hypothesized that socio-economic factors such as income, parental education, and demographic setting affect the amount of physical activity government- school children engage in each day. We administered a questionnaire containing 25 questions to 272 government-schooled students between the ages of 12 to 15 and found that parental follow-ups were a significant factor impacting physical activity. Children whose parents reminded them to exercise every day (n = 138) exercised on average 0.455 hours more. Girls (n = 150) on an average exercised for half an hour less than boys (n = 122) each day. Moreover, 66% of girls were unaware about the importance of exercise as compared to 52% of boys. Children who lived in urban areas (n = 140) tended to exercise for on average 0.396 more hours per day than their rural counterparts. These results highlight the need for encouraging girls and students in rural areas to exercise through indigenous games and everyday activities, such as increased use of stairs, cycling, walking, and helping with household chores. Schools and communities can play a positive role by promoting creation of environments that promote movement and exercise during the school day.