Associate Professor, PhD I.V. Izarovskaya1
1South Ural State University (National Research University), Chelyabinsk
Keywords: students, physical training, physical activity, applicability, physical education.
Background. The more complicated are the industrial process technologies the higher are the requirements to the service personnel training standards; and that is the reason why the national academic physical education system has been reformed for the last few years to offer new health-sensitive training paradigms, concepts, technologies and models [6-8] based on the common knowledge that junior physical education and sports develop sound mental and physical fitness for any service. This is the reason why the academic physical education and sports curriculum with its training and adaptation elements is increasingly focused on the future service missions and even model some service-specific elements in the academic physical education and sports practices – i.e. combine different exercises, physical education and sports elements and special sport disciplines so as to effectively train students for the future professional service. Normally such service-sensitive training models are developed on the following basics: key job responsibilities of the future specialists; job requirements and actual conditions; work and rest regimen; working capacity required for success of the service; job-specific fatigues, potential health risks, potential health disorders etc. . Prior studies have demonstrated that the service-specific academic physical education system shall be focused on the physical, professional, theoretical and practical fitness for the future vocational engineering service .
Objective of the study was to develop a service-specific academic physical education model to develop good physical, professional, theoretical and practical fitness for the future vocational engineering service.
Methods and structure of the study. The core element of the service-specific academic physical education and sports model is the future profession profile (‘professiogram’) that sets milestones for the service-customized physical education and sports service to design and manage it in such a way so as to encourage the knowledge and skills building and make a growing emphasis on the self-reliant physical education and sports practices.
Prior studies of the university graduates for the last 5 years have found their professional service being dominated by standard operations associated (as reported by 80% of the sample) with static physical tension and fatigue due to the monotonous job that requires a high concentration and attention, particularly of the visual system. In addition, a young engineer shall have good postural control qualities and high stress/ interference tolerance – since most of the sample reported high daily fatigues that tend to grow with the service records. It was found that the successful newcomer specialists are normally tested with the higher physical working capacity, wrist/ trunk strength, attention and fine movement control qualities .
Of special importance for the purposes of the study was a questionnaire survey of the young engineers to find the most efficient academic physical education and sports tools to lay a foundation for their success in the practical engineering service, with the physical education and sports tools (‘factors’) ranked as follows: body building (19.1% of the sample); track and field sports (18.7%); team sports (18.7%); traditional physical trainings (14.8%); swimming (15.3%); and cross-country skiing (13.4%). It should be emphasized that most of the physical education and sports tools require special prior trainings for success of the service-specific skills mastering process .
A questioning survey of the student population found their actual physical education and sports interests being ranked as follows: body building (30%); combat sports (18%); team sports (40%); and the health physical education and sports practices (12%). The academic physical education and sports service in these academic groups was designed on the future service-specific physical/ mental qualities prioritizing basis.
Furthermore, the engineering student population showing little if any interest in the service-specific physical education and sports trainings was tested passive in the academic physical education and sports practices; unable to execute elementary standard practices; prone to avoid physical work; poorly motivated for success in whatever mission; and having underdeveloped functionality in every aspect .
We believe that a comprehensive analysis of the specialist job responsibilities and qualities required for success of the service is needed to facilitate formation of the service-specific physical qualities, industrial motor skills and the relevant core mental/ physical fitness components in the academic physical education and sports process. This was the reason for us to group and analyze the key engineering professions versus their physical education and sports needs as follows (see Table 1 hereunder).
Table 1. Academic physical education and sports service models for different health groups
Physical education and sports models
Sporting group qualified for different optional academic sports based on the good individual health test rates and anthropometrics
Standard physical trainings twice a week plus group sport trainings
Main group diagnosed basically healthy (with small health deficiencies acceptable) and physically developed
Standard physical trainings twice a week
Special health group diagnosed with chronic/ curable health disorders acceptable for academic non-physical studies
Eased physical practices once a week, plus morning gymnastics; and release of the academic physical education and sports service and progress tests
Further surveys found 70% of the student sample having poor theoretical knowledge; 31.1% reasonably skillful in health practices, self-tests and self-reliant trainings and aware of the mental/ physical qualities critical for success in the future professional careers; albeit only 6.5% were found capable of selecting/ designing the individual progress securing training systems; 11.4% of the sample was tested interested in the service-specific physical trainings and the relevant knowledge. On the whole, the professional progress and professional physical fitness goals were ranked the last on the list of priorities of the sample; with most of the sample tested with poor/ mean physical and cognitive activity; and the values and priorities of the sample were found not always matching with the reality and service missions.
The new service-specific academic physical education model was geared to motivate students for conscientious and determined physical activity and physical education and sports trainings.
Study findings and discussion. The new service-specific physical education model was designed to secure an optimal balance of the physical education and sports elements (factors) and the relevant service fitness tests: see Figure 1 hereunder. Contribution of the standard physical education and sports training element to the service fitness and skills of the sporting, main and special health groups was tested to amount to 18.9%, 16.8% and 21.2%, respectively.
The mental/ physical control factor was rated by the attention control; movement accuracy and coordination; short-term memorizing and movement memorizing; and the service-specific interference tolerance tests. Contribution of the mental/ physical control factor to the service fitness and skills of the sporting, main and special health groups was tested at 14.1%, 16.6% and 27.3%, respectively.
The overall/ strength endurance factor was proved to be crucial in the future service, particularly for the sporting group. Contribution of the overall/ strength endurance factor to the service fitness and skills of the sporting, main and special health groups was tested to make up 17.1%, 13.7% and 16.1%, respectively.
Furthermore, we tested the service-specific functionality factor using heart rate, blood pressure and PWC170 tests. Contribution of the service-specific functionality factor to the service fitness and skills of the sporting, main and special health groups was tested at 15.9%, 12.6% and 12.1%, respectively. Our analysis of the cardiovascular system functionality showed the higher test rates in the sporting group versus the main and special health groups i.e. the sporting students were tested with the more active cardiovascular system response to physical work.
The personality fitness factor includes a few service-specific qualities like the efficient decision-making and pressure tolerance abilities. Contribution of the personality fitness factor to the service fitness and skills of the sporting, main and special health groups was tested to make up 19%, 18.6% and 14.1%, respectively.
Figure 1. Contributions of the physical education and sports elements to the service fitness of the South Ural State University students, %
Conclusion. Service-specific physical education and sports trainings have lately evolved into a socially important mission that spurs up the young people’s natural physical/ physiological progress; meets the natural personality development needs; improves the working capacity and service fitness; activates and improves the intellectual capacities; and contributes to the individual positive world outlook. Modern engineering service responsibilities in many industrial companies require the specialist having the universal engineering competences and skills; tolerance to multiple adverse industrial impacts; high working capacity; good visual and auditory qualities; high attention; excellent central nervous system functionality; fine movement coordination skills etc. This is the reason why the service-specific physical education and sports training model was found more beneficial for the sporting group students versus their main/ special health group peers – as verified by the sporting group service-specific fitness tests.
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The article analyzes the key benefits of an advanced application (service-specific) physical education model for engineering students that makes a special emphasis on the future job requirements and physical fitness in the academic physical education process. Objective of the present study was to overview deficiencies of the traditional reproductive academic physical education curriculum that seldom if any takes into account the future service-specific needs, standards and requirements and, hence, largely fails to secure the desired physical fitness for vocational service with the necessary adaptability to the rapidly changing professional environments and challenges. This was the reason for us to make the attempt to complement the valid academic professional physical education curriculum for engineering students. Sampled for the study were the 17-20 year old South Ural State University students (n=223) of engineering specialties. The study gives a few milestones for the service-specific academic physical education system focused on the physical, professional, theoretical and practical fitness for the future vocational engineering service. The Experimental Group was tested with the higher knowledge and skills in the service-specific application physical education versus the Reference Group and demonstrated a high professional determination with good ability to generate versatile solutions for the productive and creative vocational service.