Role of physical education in personality development process

Associate Professor, Dr.Hab. S.V. Kakhnovich1
Professor, Dr.Hab., Head of Physical Education and Special Training Chair V.V. Izvekov2
Associate Professor, PhD K.V. Izvekov2
1Mordovian State Pedagogical Institute named after M.E. Evsevyev, Saransk, Republic of Mordovia
2Saransk Cooperative Institute, affiliate of Russian Cooperation University, Saransk

Keywords: physical education, personality, general culture.

Background. Ways to cultivate healthy lifestyles in young people’ communities are ranked among the top priority issues by the modern national science for many reasons. First, the multiple challenges the nation faces nowadays (including the catastrophic health statistics reported by many sources) urge the decision-makers to give a growing attention to the health protection and improvement initiatives. New health policies and practices are needed in the context of the social environments being increasingly competitive, challenging and demanding to the people’s mental and physical capacities and health.

Second, both the leading politicians and the relevant physical education and sport specialists give a special priority to the healthy lifestyle promotion policies with a special focus on the young population that forms a basis for the future progress of the nation – albeit, as emphasized by many analysts, is highly vulnerable to the modern health risks.

Third, it is the university student population that comprises the core part of the future reproductive, defense, economic and cultural resource of any nation – being the key source of the professional highly educated human resource and the most active social group. It should be emphasized in this context that the growing social concerns with the health statistics of the university graduates and negative health trends in the academic communities, with the detrimental effects on the industrial working capacity – force the universities concentrate on healthy lifestyle promotion and cultivation efforts in the academic education process.

University years, when the life values and priorities are basically formed, are highly sensitive to many external impacts. It is the most favorable time to effectively prevent potential diseases and addictions to harmful agents and bad habits. Students may be viewed as a special social group which mission is to acquire broad cultural and service-specific vocational competences, knowledge and skills for successful professional service largely facilitated by a healthy lifestyle. Modern academic physical education curricula and the academic education service on the whole shall be designed to effectively form students’ motivations for healthy lifestyles to meet the public demand for the productive professional service [2, 3].

Objective of the study was to survey and analyze the students’ motivations for healthy lifestyles and academic physical educaiton service provided by a pedagogical university.

Methods and structure of the study. For the purposes of the study we run a questionnaire survey of students (n=125) from the Pedagogical and Arts Department and Physical Education Department of Mordovian State Pedagogical Institute named after M.E. Yevsevyev. The questionnaire survey forms offered three modules of questions to find: (1) healthy lifestyle related motivations; (2) attitudes to the GTO Complex tests and results; and (3) attitudes to the daily physical education practices.

Results and discussion. The questionnaire survey data showed the academic physical education practices being highly appreciated by the Physical Education Department students engaged in habitual/ vocational sports with physical education specialist career expectations. The 1-2-year Physical Education Department students were found more active and determined than the senior mates in GTO tests, healthy lifestyles and daily habitual physical practices.

The survey data and analyses were used to outline the key provisions for healthy lifestyle centered motivations and physical activity of the student population, with the natural provisions for due motivations interpreted herein as the voluntary formats of the physical education and sport activity and events making a special emphasis on the healthy lifestyle promotion efforts with due sensitivity to natural individual and communal students’ motivations.

The survey found the individual appearance being the top motivation (reported by 60% of the sample) for a healthy lifestyle. Ranked second by importance was the health improvement by physical education tools (mentioned by 22% of the sample); and going next was the self-assertion in sports (11%) followed by the competitive success in the university team (8%).

It should be emphasized in this context that neither health improvement/ competitive project on the university management may be successful enough unless highly sensitive to the real motivations of the student community. Such formal initiatives taken for the reporting purposes only, particularly when they are imposed in a directive style, may be highly detrimental for the efforts to establish natural provisions for healthy lifestyles and physical education promotion projects. However, the academic physical education curriculum provides a sound basis for constructive and creative initiatives to develop high physical education standards and physical fitness rates, maintain them and lay a foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

The fall in the senior non-sporting students’ interest in physical progress and healthy lifestyles may be due to the formal, non-creative and mismanaged attitudes of the education personnel to the academic physical education service. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that the valid academic physical education curricula at the non-physical education departments still offer little if any education materials to promote modern healthy lifestyles – in contrast to the Physical Education Department curriculum. It should be mentioned, however, that the senior (3-4-year) Physical Education Department students were also tested with some sag of the interest in the physical progress and healthy lifestyles.

Conclusion. Pedagogical university management is recommended designing the physical education curriculum on the modern theoretical basis to give the students sound knowledge in the modern health protection and improvement methods, healthy daily regimen, healthy diets, rest and work regimen and active recreation technologies. Healthy lifestyles shall be persistently cultivated and encouraged since the first academic year to develop a high commitment for healthy physical practices based on sound health values and priorities critical for success in professional career.


  1. Zinovyev N.A. Formirovanie zdorovogo obraza zhizni studentov tehnicheskogo vuza v protsesse fizicheskogo vospitaniya [Formation of a healthy lifestyle of technical university students in the process of physical education]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2014. № 2. pp. 6-9.

  2. Kakhnovich S.V., Schankin A.A., Izvekov K.V. et al Regionalnyie osobennosti adaptatsii studentok vuza k fizicheskoy nagruzke [Regional features of the adaptation of female high school students to physical activity]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2014, no. 10. pp. 27-29.

  3. Kakhnovich S.V., Izvekov V.V., Izvekov K.V. Healthy environment educational organization; as such as physical education (Zdorovesberegayushchaya sreda obrazovatelnoy organizatsii kak sredstvo fizicheskogo vospitaniya) [Healthy environment educational organization as such as physical education (Healthcare environment of educational organization as a means of physical education)] [Electronic resource]. International Research Journal. 2017. No. 5 (59). Available at: doi: 10.23670/IRJ.2017.59.020 (date of access 15.05.2017).

Corresponding author:


In the context of the modern policies to advance the students’ motivations for healthy lifestyles, national universities take efforts to improve the Physical Education curricula in the academic education service. The study was designed to test motivations for healthy lifestyles and academic PE service in students of Mordovian State Pedagogical Institute named after M.E. Yevsevyev by a questionnaire survey of the Pedagogic and Arts Department and Physical Education Department students (n=125). The questionnaire survey was intended to probe the students’ attitudes in the following three domains: (1) healthy lifestyles; (2) GTO Complex tests and results; and (3) daily physical education practices. The survey showed the highest appreciation of the daily physical education practices by the Physical Education Department students engaged in professional sports and focused on career in the sport sector. The 1-2-year students of different specialties were tested more successful in the GTO Complex tests than the senior students; more committed to healthy lifestyles; and more active in the daily physical education practices. The study data and analyses provide a sound basis for the initiatives to motivate students for healthy and physically active lifestyles.