Teacher perceived barriers to implementing regular daily physical activity in Simcoe County elementary schools
Middlemass Strampel, Cindy Anne
Master of Public Health
SubjectPhysical education for children Ontario Simcoe County
Exercise for children Ontario Simcoe County
School children Recreation Ontario Simcoe County
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Background: Teachers in Ontario are expected to implement 20 minutes of daily physical activity (DPA) into their daily programming, due to the Ministry of Health Promotion guidelines adapted in 2006. This study examined whether or not teachers perceived barriers to implementing the daily 20 minutes of DPA, and if so what those barriers were. This study also examined potential solutions to these barriers in order to enable teachers to successfully implement the DPA into their programs. Methods: A survey was distributed to a convenience sample of 137 certified elementary school teachers from a public school board in Simcoe County. Participants were asked to rank several previously identified barriers to DPA and possible solutions using a five-point Likert-scale. Participants were also asked two open-ended questions in order to gain further information on any other perceived barriers not mentioned in the survey, and also on any other solutions not mentioned in the survey. The quantitative data was analysed and the open-ended questions were transcribed, examined, and themes were generated. Results: Teachers reported four main barriers to DPA implementation: lack of time due to other curriculum pressures, lack of resources, lack of space, and lack of staff and student “buy in” to DPA. Participants also indicated many possible solutions to DPA barriers, including: activities that utilize minimal equipment, music resources, exercise videos, whole school DPA approach. and student leaders for DPA. Conclusion: Many of the solutions indicated by participants are inexpensive, easy to implement, and will be successful in reducing the effect of many of the important barriers to DPA examined in this study.