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Health and Fitness Development for School Students C A Global Trend


Health and Fitness Development for School Students C A Global Trend

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									      Health and Fitness Development for School Students – A Global Trend

                                   Walter King Yan HO
                                   University of Macau

The health development of students attracts attention as there is a constant report of
raise of obesity rate among our young. Obesity and related health problems become a
global challenge and requests for immediate actions. Development of healthy and active
living, adoption of active lifestyle, establishment of regular sport participation behavior
and good eating habit seems to be essential ingredients to ease the obesity problem. For
sport and physical education, the battle with obesity can be summarized into three fronts
with one focus on the quality teaching of physical education. The other focuses on
health education programs in school. The last one is the establishment of “independent”
health and fitness projects for students. Projects such as Fitness Award Scheme in
Macau, GoSport Project in Hong Kong, Trim and Fit in Singapore, Healthy Active
Living kids in Canada, FitKids in USA and Agita of Sao Paulo shares the characteristic
and serves as examples of these independent projects to promote students’ health and
fitness condition. It is called “independent” in this study because of its specific nature in
development. These health and fit projects are sometimes administrated or funded by
non-profit, non-government, voluntary or private institutes. Sometimes government
institutes such as education department or health and sport department may make the
plan but institutes are invited to provide independent services. Thus, this program may
not necessary to be compulsory in school. The introduction is usually done in a
non-formal, in-formal or operated under a flexible setting. The selection of the setting
will depend on the choice of the nation. This paper studies the four intervention
strategies in implementing these independent health and fitness projects. The Structural
Intervention indicates a desire to implant compulsory and programmed learning
materials for health and fitness development within the educational structure. Lifespan
Intervention expects the development of various activities at optional bases with
attractive features to encourage students’ voluntary participation. The Community
Based Intervention recognizes the limitation of works in school and adopts the
Life-Wide Approach for strategic planning. For example, amateur sport clubs provide
extra support for schools through different youth sport developmental programs.
Students are introduced to sport clubs as members to enjoy the activities. A Combined
or Mixed Intervention draws the elements from structural, lifespan or community based
intervention to form a unique format for health and fitness development. The four
Intervention Models represent basic trends of development for students to develop their
health and fitness condition through learning activities other than those learned from the
normal physical education lesson or health lesson in class. Examples from Canada,
China and Singapore and the city of Hong Kong, Macau and Taipei are used for
discussion. The finding supports the notion that selection of particular model has its
own social reasons. The nature of its establishment also creates specific impact for
curriculum planning and teaching in physical education, motives of learning in sport
and health behavior development. The study enhances our understanding of how our
young are being encouraged to remain active and how the world react with strategic
plans so as to help our young to stay healthy through different health and fitness works.

Key words: Health and Fitness Project, Intervention Strategies, Developmental Trends

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