Perceptions of motivational climate, goal orientations, and light-to -vigorous-intensity physical activity engagement of a sample of Finnish grade 5 to 9 students
Grasten, A and Watt, A, Perceptions of motivational climate, goal orientations, and light-to -vigorous-intensity physical activity engagement of a sample of Finnish grade 5 to 9 students, International Journal of Exercise Science, 9, (3) pp. 291-305. ISSN 1939-795X (2016) [Refereed Article]
The aim of this study was the examination of relationships between children’s perceptions of motivational climate, goal orientation, and their engagement in light- to vigorous-intensity physical activity. The sample comprised 585 school children at age of 11 to 16-year-old from three small cities located in Northeast-Finland. The cross-sectional data was collected using online questionnaires in April 2014. The findings indicated that the higher task-involving motivational climate in physical education the children reported, the higher total light- and moderate-intensity levels they accumulated. Task-involving climate also indicated higher task orientation and ego-involving climate higher ego orientation. Additionally, the more children accumulated light-intensity physical activity, the more they engaged in moderate and vigorous physical activity. No indirect paths were observed from task- and ego-involving climate to light- and moderate- or vigorous-intensity activity via task or ego orientation. The current low level of time spent undertaking physical activity in all categories should be considered as a matter of common concern, particularly amongst the most inactive students. Limitations in school curriculum scheduling options restrict the opportunity for substantially increasing the number of timetabled physical education classes. Therefore, developing content and pedagogical practice in physical education represents a viable to increase children’s total physical activity. Schools need to place a higher priority on encouraging children and adolescents to participate in daily physical activity and to provide guidance to identify engaging activities, particularly of moderate or vigorous-intensity. For example, class teachers and physical educators could encourage their students to be physically active in terms of transportation to school and by participating in out-of-school sport and recreational leisure activities as options to increase total physical activity.