1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Scientific evidence indicates that regular physical activity, exercise, and fitness are a key determinant of health. Appropriate dose of regular physical activity, participation in sports provides male and female of all ages, including those with disability, with physical and mental health benefits, as well as with social relationships. Physical activity is a cheap and strong means for prevention of diseases, improvement health and wellbeing, and it also promotes integration and social interaction (WHO, 2013). This report provides the public health recommended levels of physical activity, the prevalence and costs of physical inactivity, and the health benefits of regular activity.
Despite continued dramatic increases in Adult health issues, physical education programs are being cut more than ever to make room for more core academic time. This trend continues even though the current evidence shows physical education to be positively related to increased academic performance; when time is allocated for quality physical education, there is no detriment to academic achievement (Smith &Lounsbery, 2009). Therefore, it is critical that physical education (PE) programs in schools continue to be analyzed to further show the value of physical activity through physical education programs. Increasing time in physical activity could help address a serious health concern for children, which is the increasing incidence of overweight and obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of overweight children has more than tripled since 1980, with 16% (over nine million) of Adults and teens aged to 19- 35 years overweight (Satcher, 2015).
Forstudents, a major contributing issue to obesity is that they are leading more sedentary lifestyles. For example, students tend to spend more time in sedentary activities such as computer use, electronic games, and watching TV. With the increase in sedentary activities, there is a steady decrease in daily physical activity. For instance, the Shape of the Nation Report (2011) demonstrated that there were more students watching daily TV (about 40% for three hours daily) than there were students participating in daily physical activity (about 30% daily). More recently, according to the Shape of the Nation Report (2010), vigorousphysical activity for at least 20 minutes that increased heart rate and created perspiration, was observed in only one-third of children aged 6- to 17-years of age. In addition, there has been a steady decline in the number of students that participate in daily physical education classes.
The importance of physical activity to mental development and academic performance of biology undergraduate students cannot be over emphasized. These include improvement in cognitive performance and classroom behavior, improvement in student’s concentration skills, mental alertness who are physically fit, mentally alert and ready to face academic rigor, including healthy efficient and productive school personnel. Observation shows that despite the importance of this program, many barriers seem to be militating against the successful implementation of this laudable program in Nigeria. Intervention by government and administrative support for physical activities seems to be lacking in many tertiary institutions. budget constraint especially in Nigeria are frequently cited as reason for reducing health and physical education budget despite the recommendations of health, educational and social service organizations that students health and wellbeing should be improved through physical education and talents for sports developed by pupils. It is in support of these views that this study wants to find out the impact of this vital aspect of school health program on academic performance of school pupils in southwest Nigeria.
Due to the decrease in physical activity and physical education in schools and the increase in children who are overweight or obese, the relationship between physical activity and academic performance is important to understand. Does increasing physical activity in schools through physical education negatively or positively impact academic performance?
The purpose of this research is to investigate the relationship between physical activity and academic performance. The following sections review the benefits of physical activity, the impact of physical activity and physical education on cognitive and academic performance, and the elementary school interventions that have been conducted on the relation of physical activity, fitness, and physical education on academic performance.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The philosopher Spinoza once said, “Teach the body to do many things; this will help you perfect the mind and come to the intellectual level of thought”. Throughout history, many philosophers have written about the relationship of physical activity and learning, along with placing a high level of importance on physical development. Philosophers believed the soul was developed by the mind, as well as the bod. However, society has lost the importance of physical activity and forgotten the crucial role it plays in an adult’s life as well as academicperformance. Over the last twenty years according to the American Academy of Pediatrics childhood obesity has doubled. Obesity has become the greatest health risk to adults and adolescents today. Adults especially students are spending an average of five to six hours a day doing sedentary activities like playing video games, watching television, and using the computer. With Adult and teem rapidly rising each day in America, it is clear students are not developing good physical activity habits. The reduction in physical activity as a teen mature is contributing to the rise in adult obesity. Students should be getting daily physical activity in school through quality physical education programs because of the health benefits. However for many years, physical education has had a negative stigma attached to it and the public has viewed it as “leisure time,” “recess time,” “game time,” or just “sport class. Under the Bush administration, Congress implemented No student Left Behind (NCLB), which increased the importance on core subjects in schools (math, science, biology etc.)” With the pressure to meet standards, schools have cut physical activity programs to make more time for learning math and language arts.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1) To examine the impact of physical activity on academic success in schools
2) To examine direct and indirect cost of physical inactivity
3) To examine other examine other factors that influences undergraduate’s academic performance in introductory biology courses.
4) To examine the impact of physical activities on the academic performance of undergraduate students in introductory biology courses
5) To examine the benefits of a regular physical activity
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1) What is the impact of physical activity on academic success in schools?
2) What isdirect and indirect cost of physical inactivity?
3) What areother factors that influences undergraduate’s academic performance in introductory biology courses?
4) What is the impact of physical activities on the academic performance of undergraduate students in introductory biology courses?
5) What are the benefits of a regular physical activity?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0:Physical activities have no significant impact on the academic performance of undergraduate students in introductory biology courses
H1:Physical activities have a significant impact on the academic performance of undergraduate students in introductory biology course.
H0:There is no significant relationship between physical activity and academic performance of undergraduate students in introductory biology course
H1:There is a significant relationship between physical activity and academic performance of undergraduate students in introductory biology course
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study will be of great significance because it seeks to;
- It will enable the government to understand the health benefits of physical activities and making provisions adequately of such activities e.g. equipments, facilities, as well as conducive environment for its practicability. For instance, track and field events, standardized dimensioned football pitch, basketball court, badminton, handball court, music lab etc.
- It will equally assist school authorities and teachers to understand the significance of maintaining school sporting equipments to the betterments of learning, social and mental well-being.
- Furthermore, it will help in changing the attitude of sports personnel in school by making sports interesting to parents, communities, organizations, and philanthropists to contribute their own quota so as to complement or supplement students’ participation in sports.
Consequently, this research project will be of benefit to other research related to physical activities and academics, also to investigate other areas and variables that the study may not have covered and which could be useful in development of other educational systems.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study focuses onphysical activities and academic performance in undergraduate introductory biology courses. The work will make use of primary data research.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The researcher was faced with the following constraints in carrying out this study:
Time: The time within the researcher is too short to carry on the detail study on this topic.
Resources: Another constraint of the researcher is financial resources to carry on the detail study of this topic.
Data: Another limitation to this study will be lack of data to make valid study on the research problem.
1.9 OPREATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Physical Activity: Physical activity is defined as any voluntary bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require 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
Academic Performance: Academic performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals. Completion of educational benchmarks such as secondary school diplomas and bachelor’s degrees represent academic achievement
Biology: Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their physical structure, chemical processes, molecular interactions, physiological mechanisms, development and evolution. Despite the complexity of the science, certain unifying concepts consolidate it into a single, coherent field.
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