• Kim Michéle Feder
  • Marte Rolstad Clason
4. term, Public Health, Master (Master Programme)
Introduction: With an increased focus on academic performance, especially during the semester with final examinations (KORA 2015, p. 25), a decreasing physical activity level among children and adolescents between 13-16 years is observed (Pedersen et al., 2016, p. 27; Sawka et al., 2014). Seeing primary school as a prevention arena with the opportunity to promote physical activity among children and adolescents, may be considered a way to reduce social inequality, ensuring equal access for all primary school students regarding access to and opportunity for physical activity (McMullen et al. 2015; Dinkel et al. 2017; Danish government 2013, p. 3). It may be relevant to focus on the age group at risk of developing poorer health behavior in terms of promoting a physical activity level (World Health Organization c 2016, p. 216).

Aim: To gain knowledge that can help develop a basis for decision making that can promote the physical activity level among children and adolescents, in a secondary class at a Danish primary school.

Methods: The study was based on a constructivistic interactionism theoretical framework. A focus group interview was conducted as part of an observational participant study, with informal conversations. In addition, two systematic literature studies were carried out to reveal existing knowledge in the field, and later in conjunction with empirical studies. Data were analyzed using a qualitative content analysis in order to create structure and give a general view of empiricism. Scheins theoretical concepts of organizational culture were included in the analysis as a “can opener” for the processing of the empirical findings.

Results: The analysis led to two main themes with associated subtopics, which revealed that integration of physical activity may be challenged by complex organizational factors. This because the possibilities to organize is affected by several factors, such as outdoor space and facilities, interior design and a focus on academic performance, as well as a lack of a strategy to create clarity and agreement on how physical activity can be strategically integrated into the 9th grade school day. The factors were closely linked and influenced each other, which appeared as a complexity with a base in the school culture.

Conclusion: The following three recommendations were made, which in the long run could initiate a change that promotes physical activity in the class during their school day:
1. Consider the context with base in the school culture to achieve changes
2. Establish common goals and a strategy for physical activity during school day
3. Help from external experts or from children and young people themselves

Keywords: Ethnographic approach, physical activity, children and adolescents (13-16 years), prerogative, secondary school, promotional and inhibitory factors.
Publication date6 Jun 2017
Number of pages128
ID: 259248332