Young teachers’ physical activity versus somatic health rating study

PhD, Associate Professor V.E. Tsibulnikova
Moscow State Pedagogical University, Moscow

Keywords: physical activity, teacher’s physical inactivity, somatic health rates.

Background. High physical activity is commonly viewed as the key prerequisite for good health albeit the modern teaching services are mostly physically inactive, intellectually intensive and associated with heavy time pressures. The national professional teaching community has lately been tested with low and sagging somatic health rates. As provided by M.Y. Vilenskiy, the somatic health rates tend to fall with the teaching experience, with most of the teachers reporting heavy service-specific mental stresses and discomforts giving rise to multiple mental/ somatic health disorders [2].

As provided by G.L. Apanasenko, the individual biological vitality is largely determined by the somatic health with its mental, spiritual and physical aspects [1]. Considering the interrelations of the females’ middle and lower somatic health rates with their physical inactivity, A.A. Tretyakov underlined the need for the physical activity encouragement initiatives to improve the physicality and functionality in the health building initiatives [6]. A.A. Gorelov and O.G. Rumba showed in their experimental study that most females are tested with shortages of physical activity since 19 years of age, with the relative regresses in the somatic health standards [5]. Our step-tests of the young (20-25-y-o) teachers’ physical activity (PA) and their habitual weekly PA surveys showed 48.0% of the sample being short of PA for at least the last six months [7].

Objective of the study was to profile the teachers’ somatic health data versus the actual physical activity to offer a physical inactivity compensation recreational physical education model.

Methods and structure of the study. Sampled for the study were the young (21-25-y-o) female teachers (n=52) with 1-3-year service experiences serving at the metropolitan and Moscow Oblast general education schools. We used the G.L. Apanasenko Women’s Somatic Health Express Test and health surveys with the test data processed by a standard mathematical statistics toolkit. The somatic health test system was complemented by the somatic health examinations, anthropometrics and physiological tests to obtain the following: body mass, body length, the Kettle body mass index (BMI), wrist dynamometry data, pre- and post-training heart rates, and the systolic arterial pressure rates. The somatic health express tests produced the following health rates: Kettle body mass index (BMI); vital capacity index (VC) characteristic of the lung volume versus the respiratory system functionality; relative wrist dynamometric rates; Robinson index; and the pre- and post-training HR variations.

For the PA versus somatic health rating purposes we need to accurately rate the physical activity on the relevant frequency, intensity and duration scales [5]. We profiled the PA shortages and needs of the sample by a survey form including the following questions:

1. What rest do you prefer (extreme; active; passive; mixed)?

2. What is your weekly PA (2 to 4; 5 to 7; 8+ hours a week; no PA)?

3. Do you do morning exercises (every day; 2-3 times a week; irregular; never)?

4. How do you reach your school (walking; on transport; combined walking and transport; alternatively)?

5. What is your daily PA including walking, shopping, outdoor trips etc. (under 1; 1-2; 3-4; 5+ hours per day)?

6. Do you think your PA is sufficient for your body performance (yes; rather so, rather not, certainly not)?

7. Do you think your PA is sufficient for your health protection and improvement (yes; rather so, rather not, certainly not)?

Results and discussion. The somatic health of the sample was tested on average by 4.7 points i.e. ‘under median’, with the following specific aspects within the BMI: (1) 11 people were tested with an excessive body weight (BMI 25.0-29.9 m²) i.e. overweight/ obesity with a high exposure to the metabolic complications and cardiovascular diseases; and (2) 2 people were tested with Class I abdominal obesity (BMI 32.86-34.11 m²) with a waist circumference of 89-94cm versus the normal <80cm, associated with the high somatic health risks.

The VC (divided by body weight) averaged 42.11 ml/kg. Wrist dynamometry tested the relative strength averaging 42-51% of the body mass. The Robinson index averaged 92-109 points, i.e. was within the ‘median’ and ‘under median’ somatic health ranges. The HR recovery time after 20 squats for 30s (1.59–3 min) was tested within the ‘median’ and ‘under median’ somatic health ranges.

The PA profiling survey generated the following results: 36.5% of the sample reported preference for extreme and active rest forms, with the choice being age-specific, in our opinion. Most of the sample (40.3%) reported their PA at 2 to 3 hours a week; and 26.9% reported doing their morning exercises on an irregular basis. The schools were reported reached by walking (9.6%) and walking and transport combined (42.3%). Furthermore, 44.2% and 13.5% of the sample believed their PA was sufficient for the body functionality and health improvement, respectively.

Teaching service is known to be energy-intensive, with the rehabilitation recommended to be dominated by physical recreation (PR) practices [3] in multiple forms including walking as the most accessible form of physical activity of special benefits for the physical conditioning, body functionality resource building and other purposes. The recreational knowledge and habits of the sample were probed by the following questions:

1. How would you define the PR as the PE form?

2. Do you know that PR may be rather entertaining among the other rest forms?

3. Do you know that the PR-centered games, active rest, walking etc. may effectively complement the traditional PE forms?

4. Are you aware of the benefits of active walking on a cyclic basis on a human body?

5. Would you like to assign more time for your daily walking practices?

6. Do you know the healthy walking styles?

Most of the sample was uncertain in responses to the PR related questions, with 7.0% even found to believe that walking has no effect on an individual health. However, 92.3% of the sample would like to assign more time for walking; 40.4% uncertain if they know the healthy walking styles; 32.7% rather uncertain than not; and 23.0% not sure that their walking style is healthy enough.

Conclusion. Despite the fact that 48.1% of the sample was found aware of the great benefits of physical activity, 23.2% reported physical inactivity; with 25.0% and 38.5% of the 21-25 year-old teachers reporting predispositions to passive and mixed recreational forms, respectively. This finding gives the reasons for concerns, in our opinion, as a quarter of the young teachers reported physical passiveness albeit most of them acknowledged the role of regular PA for health. Only 48.1% of the sample reported doing morning exercises; 80.7% were uncertain in qualifying the PR as a form of PE; 94.2% was unaware of the entertainment aspects of the modern PR forms. Furthermore, 82.7% believed that walking is beneficial for health. Knowing that walking is the easiest way to improve the physical fitness, 47.3% was still reluctant or incapable of sacrificing transport for walking, with only 19.2% reporting to alternate walking with transport on the way to their schools. The ‘under median’ somatic health rates of the sample tested by the G.L. Apanasenko Women’s Somatic Health Express Test versus the dominant physical inactivity confirmed the assumption on the habitual PA being correlated with the somatic health rates.

References

  1. Apanasenko G.L. Individualnoe zdorovye: teoriya i praktika [Individual health: theory and practice]. Valeologiya. 2006. no.1. pp. 5-13.
  2. Vilenskiy M.Ya., Makeeva V.S. Fizicheskaya kultura kak bazovy komponent professionalno-lichnostnogo razvitiya uchitelya [Physical education as basic component of teacher’s professional and personal development]. Pedagogicheskoe obrazovanie i nauka: scient.-method. journal. 2002. no. 3. pp. 10-15.
  3. Vydrin V.M. Fizicheskaya rekreatsiya – vid fizicheskoy kultury [Physical recreation - type of physical education]. Kultura fizicheskaya i zdorovye. 2004. no.  2. pp. 18-21.
  4. Gorelov A.A., Rumba O.G. O zavisimosti somaticheskogo zdorovya studentov ot velichiny ikh dvigatelnoy aktivnosti [Students' somatic health versus their motor activity]. Vestnik sportivnoy nauki. 2013. no.2. pp. 36-39.
  5. Lyakh V.I., Rumba O.G., Gorelov A.A. Kriterii i metody issledovaniya dvigatelnoy aktivnosti cheloveka [Criteria and methods of human motor activity]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury. 2013. no.10. pp. 99-104.
  6. Tretyakov A.A., Tkachenko A.I., Klimenko B.A., Belyaev I.S. Otsenka urovnya zdorovya kursantov obrazovatelnykh organizatsiy MVD Rossii v zavisimosti ot dvigatelnoy aktivnosti [Rating physical activity-related health of cadets of educational organizations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia]. Sovremennye problemy nauki i obrazovaniya. 2018. no.  2. pp. 94-101.
  7. Tsibulnikova V.E. Otsenka dvigatelnoy aktivnosti sovremennykh uchiteley [Physical activity rating among modern teachers]. Fizicheskaya kultura: vospitanie, obrazovanie, trenirovka. 2018. no. 6. pp. 73-75.

Corresponding author: vicki-77@yandex.ru

Abstract

High physical activity is commonly viewed as the key prerequisite for good health albeit the modern teaching practices are mostly physically inactive, intellectually intensive and associated with heavy time pressures. The study analyzes the young teachers’ physical activity versus somatic health rating data. Objective of the study was to profile the somatic health data versus the actual physical activity to offer a physical inactivity compensation recreational physical education model for the teachers. Physical health of the young teachers was tested ‘under median’ (4.7 points) on average by the G.L. Apanasenko Women’s Somatic Health Express Test. Despite the fact that 48.1% of the sample was found aware of great benefits of physical activity, 23.2% reported physical inactivity; with 25.0% and 38.5% of the 21-25 year-olds reporting predispositions to passive and mixed forms of recreation, respectively. The survey also found 26.9% and 42.3% of the sample knowing that their physical inactivity exposes them to bodily dysfunctions and health issues, respectively.