BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Physical activities are activities that are beneficial to any active individual, irrespective of whether they are recreational or commercial activities. According to Morgan (1979), active participation in physical activities can reduce anxiety levels or worry. Physical activities also contribute many benefits to our physical well being. Abdullah and Omar Fauzee (2002) posited that among the benefits gained from physical activities are improvements in the lung system by way of deepening a person’s respiration as well as strengthening the heart’s muscles and increasing its size. A person who are physically active and exercise regularly, will be able to adopt active lifestyle, they looked more attractive and experience changes in moods and self-esteem.
In the contraction of skeletal muscles and increases in energy levels (Bouchard et al., 1990). There are numerous healthy lifestyles or behaviors that contribute to our quality of life, health and our general well-being. A study done by (National Association for Sport & Physical Education, 2003), found that women’s perception and attitude on physical activities helps them to reduce their stress levels and improved their work-related time management. On the other hand, men view physical activities as a way to an active lifestyle. The attitude and perception of an individual towards physical activities determines his/her level of enthusiasm in living an active life. One’s attitude serves as an important evaluator that gives meaning to his/her symbol of identity. Changes in attitude are believed to develop continuously and they are presented or channeled through social contexts (Terry & Hogg, 2000). According to Suminski, Richard, Petosa, Rick, Alan, Zhang and James (2002), men are healthier and are more active in physical activities compared to women. Furthermore, it was found that Caucasian women spend more time watching television compared to the men. Moreover, result shows that Asian students are less physically active compared to Caucasian’s and Hispanic American’s students. In addition, African American women spend more time watching television daily compared to Asian and Caucasian women. It is also interesting to know that women are less than men to use recreational facility in university sport center (Miller, Noland, Rayens, & Staten, 2008). Thus, it justify why men are more active than women in college.
The positive attitude and perception of students towards physical activities are the main elements in evaluating the success of a particular Physical Education curriculum. Silverman & Subramaniam (1999) stated that attitude development is important because teachers, coaches and the society often regard daily attitudes as a form of assessment for them and for assessing other people’s strengths. According to Kosma (2003), physical activity is important for talented as well as untalented individuals. This clearly shows that physical activity is important to all individuals regardless of differences in gender. Inculcating moral values among students towards physical activity during early adolescence will ensure their continuous involvement as they grow into adults. Participation in physical activity does not only improved physical fitness and health, but also helps the individuals to enhance their interpersonal relationships. Abdullah & Omar Fauzee (2002) posited that interpersonal relationship is an important element when engaging in physical activity. A study carried out by the National Association for Sport & Physical Education (2003) found that teenagers between 12 and 14 years old are more interested in Physical Education classes than teenagers aged 15 to 17. This finding is further explained by a study done by Ryan, Stu, Fleming, David, Maina and Michael (2003) which reported that 38% of secondary school students and 28% of high school students did not like Physical Education classes due to the short duration of such classes. Another 13% of the respondents reported disliking their Physical Education teachers.
A study found that undergraduate students at university level are able to improve their physical activity and exercise routine from one semester to the other, based on physical education curriculum offered in the university level (Nahas, Marcus, Goldfine, Bernie, Collins & Mitchell, 2003). This is because the concept of physical education is very effective in promoting positive attitudes towards physical activities and therefore is capable of altering one’s behavior in such activities. Despite this, it has been reported that 65% of Canadian college students unable to maintain the amount of physical activity that necessary to attain health benefits (Irwin, 2007).
In addition, some higher institutions have begun to offer the Sports Science program at bachelor’s level in their efforts to help boost the knowledge and the acquisition of skills in particular areas of sports and games. The government’s involvement and roles contribute a lot in the development of each particular sport. For example, through the Malaysia National Sports Council, our country has been putting in a lot of effort to improve the quality of sports in this country so that it is at par with that of developed countries.
Among many factors, the student’s attitude is considered to be a key factor that influences physical activity participation; Attitudes shape ones’ behaviours in many ways and determine ones’ involvement in his or her daily activities. There is need for change of attitude if the attitude towards beneficial events is negative, e.g., if an individual’s attitude towards participating in physical activities is negative, there is need for change to positive attitude.
Educators recommended that physical education curricula should implement in a way that participation in physical education program becomes enjoyable and meaningful learning experience for students and help to develop knowledge and motor skill. Level of participation in physical activities inside and outside the school shows the negative and positive attitude of students towards physical education. On other hand knowledge and skill level also affect the attitude towards physical education. Student attitude also impact on their behavior towards curriculum and instructional modification and student attitude is a significant way to understanding their attitudes and beliefs.
Regular physical Activity helps to prevalent musculoskeletal disorders and decreasing the risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity and colon cancer. Level of knowledge about physical activities and exercises impact an important affect on individual habit and pattern towards physical activity.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLM
There has been no study conducted on the perception, knowledge, attitude and participation in physical activity among undergraduate university students which is supposed to be a part of a multi-country project of health behaviours among undergraduates in Nigerian Universities and should be conducted primarily to explore correlates of overall physical activity levels among students. As it has been observed that these students are relatively inactive and many are not meeting the daily physical exercise recommendations
However, even with the little efforts by the government to upgrade the knowledge of the people, namely by providing degree programs and also setting up a special sports association such as the National Sports Council, a holistic positive outcome will not be achieved if the perceptions of adolescents especially university undergraduates hinder them from engaging in physical activity. Therefore, this study will directly focus on the perceptions, knowledge, attitude and participation in physical activity among undergraduate university students in Anambra State.
AIMS AN D OBJECTIVES
The main aim of the study is the perception, attitude, knowledge and participation in physical activity among undergraduate university student in Anambra State. Other specific objectives include:
1. to determine the relationship between participation in physical activity and undergraduates university students in Anambra State.
2. to examine factors that influence the attitude and participation in physical activity among undergraduates students in Anambra state.
3. to examine the importance of participating in physical activity among undergraduates university students in Anambra State.
4. to determine causes of negative attitude and perception towards physical activity among undergraduates university students in Anambra State.
5. to identify ways to improve the participation in physical activity among undergraduates university students in Anambra State.
1. what is the relationship between participation in physical activity and undergraduates university students in Anambra State?
2. what are the factors that influence the attitude and participation in physical activity among undergraduates students in Anambra state?
3. what are the importance of participating in physical activity among undergraduates university students in Anambra State?
4. what are causes of negative attitude and perception towards physical activity among undergraduates university students in Anambra State?
5. what are the ways to improve the participation in physical activity among undergraduates university students in Anambra State?
STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1. H0: perception, attitude, knowledge and participation in physical activity has no significant impact among undergraduate university student in Anambra State.
2. H1: perception, attitude, knowledge and participation in physical activity have a significant impact among undergraduate university student in Anambra State.
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
Among the benefits contributed by physical activities is the ability to improve the respiratory system by stimulating deep respiration and to strengthen the cardiac muscle and increase the size of the heart muscle (Abdullah & Omar Fauzee, 2002).
The findings of this study will serve as useful information with regards to the Physical Education syllabus and inform the authorities, administrators and curriculum developers in their efforts to plan and manage a more effective and improved Physical Education syllabus for students at schools and higher institutions in the future.
However, from this study administrators of various institutions together with lecturers in charge of physical education will make sure that Physical Education syllabus takes into account other factors which affect the involvement of students in physical activity towards fitness in its curriculum the program and the aims of Physical Education should also contain elements that can provide awareness to promote lifelong healthy living among undergraduates students and increase their mental well being.
It is important for students to know physical activity recommendations and have knowledge about the benefits of physical exercise to incorporate it into their daily lives and increase physical exercise participation.
There has been significant decrease in physical exercise level among undergraduates’ university students in Anambra sate, this study will help in developing policies that would contribute towards improving the current status of physical exercise among students. The study will also serve as source of information for subsequent studies to be conducted in the future.
SCOPE OF STUDY
The study will cover the perception, attitude, knowledge and participation in physical activity has no significant impact among undergraduate university student in Anambra State.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
1. Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
2. Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Perception: the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.
Attitude: a settled way of thinking or feeling about something.
Knowledge: facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.
Participation: the action of taking part in something.
Physical activity: Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Physical activity encompasses all activities, at any intensity, performed during any time of day or night. It includes exercise and incidental activity integrated into daily activity.
Undergraduate: a university student who has not yet taken a first degree.