Professional adaptation of physically inactive students

Associate Professor, PhD D.V. Viktorov1
I.A. Komkova1
O.V. Melnikova1
N.Y. Platunova1
1South Ural State University (National Research University), Chelyabinsk

Keywords: students, professional adaptation, physical activity, application, physical education.

Backgroundю It is commonly recognized that success of any professional service largely depends, among other things, on the special physical fitness that needs to be developed by systemic physical practices with a special priority to the vocational service responsibilities and requirements, operations and conditions [1].

Many recent studies have demonstrated negative trends in the university students’ health standards associated with a reported growth of somatic diseases, sagging physical development, accelerated aging processes, etc. [6], with the existing systems to ensure due professional adaptation of physically inactive student population being largely inefficient. The academic educational process design and management for such students is intended to provide a high quality physical education service on the whole and the practical professional physical education service in particular [2].

Objective of the study was to develop an efficient practical physical education model for professional adaptation of physically inactive students (with health limitations).

Methods and structure of the study. The study was designed to analyze the existing physical education curricula with an emphasis on standard training practices to secure due adaptation of students to professional responsibilities was run at South Ural State Institute of Arts named After P.I. Tchaikovsky (SUSU) and South Ural State Engineering Institute (SUSEI). The study showed that the standard physical progress tests of the physically inactive student population for the whole study period provide rather limited test data arrays that give virtually no reliable means to rate the key service-specific physical qualities, skills and psychophysical functionality. Meaningful benefits of the training process may be attained only when the training system is designed to secure focused and systemic trainings effects. The study findings give the grounds to conclude that the professional physical training process of the physically inactive students shall not rely only on the super-compensation effects that require at least 3-4 training sessions a week; and rather be designed to mobilize the adaptive improvements to facilitate progress in the service-specific physical qualities and skills by special physical practices; with the adaptive progress focused on the key physical abilities and qualities to step up the special physical working capacity and physical fitness on the whole [3]. It may be stated with confidence, however, that a physical training system only lays a sound foundation for success of the professional service by providing rather the necessary physical qualities than the whole range of the vocational ones.

Both the national [4] and foreign [5] specialists tend to design the practical professional physical education systems for students with health limitations so as to secure a gradual progress irrespective of the university specialty so as to cut down the period of adaptation to physical trainings and, hence, improve the physical fitness; with the standard two-times-a-week trainings including: traditional physical conditioning, professional physical education, and special physical progress securing practices.

The new practical professional physical education system was designed to: facilitate the background personal culture and health awareness by an introductory course in semesters 1-2 (the conceptual stage); apply in practice the background knowledge to accumulate individual experiences, explore the individual physical resources and mobilize them for the service-specific progress with assistance from instructors in semesters 3-4 (cognitive stage); and start self-reliant physical activity in different forms that may be corrected, guided, transformed and even totally revised, conditional on the individual achievements and commitment for success driven by health agenda with its values and priorities – to attain the desired progress in semesters 5–6 (progress securing stage).

The above semester-wise staging of the training process was dictated by the need to reasonably distribute the education materials and practical trainings so as to both encourage the enthusiastic attitudes of trainees and largely predetermine them; that means that the external impacts were individualized to give the students certain freedoms in the self-identification process. At the same time the training system requirements were reasonably balanced for most of the student sample irrespective of the special focuses of the practical physical education component, with every stage intended to secure specific progress in the physical qualities and skills with multisided positive individual effects to maximize the training process benefits.

Prior to every stage (semesters 1, 3, 5), the training system was complemented by customizable cyclic/ acyclic track and field sport elements – since these sport disciplines play a special role in a physical progress and secure the overall and service-specific physical qualities and skills being developed on a natural and harmonic basis. Practical benefits of the trainings were due to the bodily adaptation mechanisms being mobilized and excelled by reasonably managed intensities and external factors of the training process.

In semesters 2, 4 and 6 the training system was complemented by elements of different special sport disciplines critical for professional fitness, with active games and team sports, and with due consideration for the diagnosed health conditions and progress. The core practical objective of the training process was to develop the desired physical working capacity by the well-designed and managed physical training workloads: see Table 1.

Table 1. PPE service design and staging for the physically inactive students

Semester

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Training process stages and goals

1, 3, 5

Adapt to the physical workloads

Rehabilitate the physical working capacity

Develop service-specific physical qualities and skills

2, 4, 6

Develop service-specific skills

Improve the service-specific skills

Excel the service-specific skills

Study findings and discussion. For the purposes of the progress-ranking analysis, we applied the following professional adaptation levels.

Ranked with the extra-functional professional adaptation level were the students who showed excellent and good progress in the trainings; active commitment for the education and training sessions, academic sport trainings, mass sport events and competitions – and, hence, made success in the service-specific physical qualities, skills and competencies formation in the academic practical professional physical education service.

Ranked with the poly-functional professional adaptation level were the students who showed satisfactory progress in the trainings with their individual resource being fully mobilized and so exhausted that failed to keep up their active attitudes to the own self and surroundings.

And ranked with the functional professional adaptation level were the students who showed no progress in the trainings and failed to understand, analyze and accept benefits of the physical education service for the individual physical perfection agenda.

The physically inactive students’ professional adaptation progress in the training process was rated by the following tests: adaptability test with application of the Ruffier index; rehabilitation capacity HR-profiling tests; Martine-Kushelevsky blood pressure test; and the function-specific progress rating three-stage Serkin breath holding test: see Table 2.

Table 2. Professional adaptation progress test rates

Test rates

Establishment

Academic years

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

Ruffier index

SUSU

12,9±2,9

11,5±2,4

9,7±1,8

SUSEI

13,1±2,8

11,2±2,3

10,1±1,6

Martine test rate

SUSU

39/61*

64/36*

74/26*

SUSEI

43/57*

61/39*

69/31*

Serkin test rate

SUSU

46,3/86,7**

48,2/97,5**

59,5/103,4**

SUSEI

46,7/91,9**

48/103,1**

64,6/116,4**

Note: *percentages of students by reaction types: normal/ negative; **semesters 2 and 3 (%)

The special practical professional physical education model testing experiment was run in identical conditions in terms of the education/ training facilities, training schedules and total hours. Sampled for the experiment were students from P.I. Tchaikovsky South Ural State Engineering Institute (Reference Group, RG); South Ural State University’s Polytechnic Institute (Experimental Group 1, EG-1); South Ural State University’s Natural Engineering Institute (EG-2) and South Ural State University’s Architectural and Civil Engineering Institute (EG-3).

The special practical professional physical education model testing experiment showed the model benefits as verified by the EG versus RG progress in the professional adaptation test rates, with the progress found by one/ two/ three tests qualified with the functional/ poly-functional/ extra-functional professional adaptation levels, respectively: see Figure hereunder.

 

Figure 1. Professional adaptability progress test levels

The EG-1 and EG-2 were tested with virtually identical professional adaptation levels; whilst the RG/ EG-1/ EG-2 test levels and average test levels were found significantly (p<0.05) different from the EG-3 test (high, average and low) levels.

Conclusion. The practical professional physical education model analyzed herein makes it possible to secure progress of the physically inactive students (with health limitations) in the professional adaptation domain; with the model tools being reasonably customizable for the following: past motor experience (actual qualities and abilities); present mental, functional and physical test rates (showing what he/she can attain); and the future service requirements (what he/she must be able to do). Since the professional adaptation may be viewed as the systemic physiological-cost-efficient bodily response, the new PPE model offers a customizable toolkit to secure a harmonized and manageable progress to attain sustainable physicality and functionality levels for success in the professional service.

References

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Corresponding author: viktorovdv@yandex.ru

Abstract

Many recent studies have demonstrated negative trends in the university students’ health associated with growth of somatic diseases, sagging physical development, accelerated aging processes etc. The study analyzes issues of professional adaptation of physically inactive students diagnosed with different health disorders/ limitations who are unable to fully benefit from the academic physical education service as required by the professional service standards and requirements due to their physical and functional limitations. Sampled for the study were the 16-21 year-old students split into the academic preparatory (n=166) and special (n=142) health groups. Objective of the study was to develop an efficient application physical education model for professional adaptation of physically inactive students with health limitations. The study gave the means to design a staged professional adaptation process to facilitate the body adaptation to physical workloads and thereby physically activate the unhealthy students by a special physical education course with two trainings a week. The newly tested physical education model for professional adaptation of physically inactive students (with health limitations, poor physical development characteristics, temporary health disorders etc.) was found beneficial for the professional adaptation improvement initiatives.