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Exploring age and gender differences in physical activity participation among children and young people

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Who’s active and who isn’t? Exploring age and gender differences in physical activity participation among children and young people Note: You may reference the topic content PDFs for this assignment but not the lecture notes (in which case you may wish to find other sources). Introduction Physical activity is important for the health, growth and development of children and young people (Okely et al. 2012). Physically active children and young people are also more likely to become physically active adults (Hallal et al. 2006), which, in turn, is associated with multiple heal...

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Who’s active and who isn’t? Exploring age and gender differences in physical activity participation among children and young people Note: You may reference the topic content PDFs for this assignment but not the lecture notes (in which case you may wish to find other sources). Introduction Physical activity is important for the health, growth and development of children and young people (Okely et al. 2012). Physically active children and young people are also more likely to become physically active adults (Hallal et al. 2006), which, in turn, is associated with multiple health benefits. However, in Australia high proportions of children and young people fail to meet recommended levels of physical activity, thereby contributing to elevated risks of a range of chronic diseases across generations of Australians. The Commonwealth Department of Health provides the following recommendation for physical activity levels for children and young people. To achieve health benefits it is recommended that: “children and young people aged 5–17 years should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.” (Commonwealth Department of Health 2014) However, only 19.4% of Australian children aged 5–17 years achieve the recommended 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013). In addition, there are substantial variations by age and gender. This assignment requires you to access and understand health-related data from reputable, widelyused (by health professionals) sources of information in order to document and understand reasons for age and gender differences in physical activity levels among Australian children and adolescents. These findings are important for planning interventions aimed at increasing young people’s physical activity levels and reducing the risk of chronic diseases associated with physical inactivity. TASK A: Locating health data and information from reputable sources Question 1: Describing levels of physical activity among young people in Australia In Task A you are required to summarise current levels of physical activity among children and young people (aged 2–17 years) in Australia, and identify any differences in physical activity levels based on age and gender. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) ‘Australian Health Survey’ includes data on “Whether [2–17 year-olds] met physical and screen-based activity recommendations” in the Page 2 of 8 Australian population of 2–17 year-olds. You are required to locate data from this survey from the ABS website. ABS health survey data is now available in the form of (i) very brief summary of selected findings from the survey; and (ii) detailed downloadable data tables (as Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheets). The report is: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013, Australian Health Survey: Physical activity, 2011–12, cat. no. 4364.0.55.004, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra. Please go to the ABS website, and:  Locate the report “Australian Health Survey: Physical activity, 2011–12”.  Download “Table 14.3: Whether met physical and screen-based activity recommendations by selected population characteristics, Proportion of children aged 12–17 years”. This is available from the ‘Downloads’ tab (red circle in Screenshot).  Click on the Excel spreadsheet option, which will load Table 14.3 as an Excel spreadsheet. Screenshot i. When conducting quantitative health research, it is important to define the study variables being measured. In the Australian Health Survey, how was ‘Whether met physical activity recommendations on all 7 days’ defined for children and young people (in the age range 2– 17 years)? (4 marks) ii. Based on the results of the survey (in Table 14.3), are male or female children and young people more likely to meet the physical activity recommendations? Include the percentages for total males and total females to support your answer. Does this male/female difference hold for all age groups in the range 2–14 years? (Do not include data for the 15–17 years age group as it has a high standard error, as noted in the table). (6 marks) Page 3 of 8 iii. Based on the results of the survey (in Table 14.3), describe the trend across age groups (within the age range 2–17 years) for meeting physical activity recommendations. Use the “persons” data, which includes males and females. Please include at least two of the percentages (e.g. from x% to y%) in your answer for full marks. (4 marks) iv. Based on the results of the survey (in Table 14.3), which children and young people are more likely to meet physical activity recommendations: (a) Those living in major Australian cities OR those in inner regional and outer regional and remote areas? (b) Those born in Australia OR born overseas? (Use the “persons” data, which includes males and females, and all children and young people in the 2–17 years age group). Please include the percentages in your answer for full marks. (4 marks) v. Suppose you are the Health Promotion Policy Officer for the Australian Department of Health, and have been given the task of advising the Government on interventions aimed at increasing physical activity levels among young Australians who are most inactive. Based on your answers to Questions 1(i)–(iv), which children and young people (based on the characteristics identified in Questions 1(i)–(iv)) would you recommend focussing on? There is no need to include the data in this question. (4 marks) Question 2: Understanding gender and age differences in physical activity levels among young people in Australia Using the skills you developed in Topic 2, locate the journal article referenced below through either the Deakin Library website or Google Scholar. Read the article carefully before answering Questions 2(i)-(iv). Olds, T, Wake, M, Patton, G, Ridley, K, Waters, E, Williams, J & Hesketh, K 2009, ‘How do school-day activity patterns differ with age and gender across adolescence?’, Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 64–72. i. State if this article represents a quantitative research study or a qualitative research study. Briefly describe how you know this particular study is qualitative or quantitative. (4 marks) ii. Based on the data in Table 2, are the differences in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) for males/females and for ages 10 years through to 17+ years, consistent with the results from the National Health Survey in Question 1? Please include illustrative data from Olds et al. (2009) to support your answers, though there is no need to include the data for each age—a description of the trend from ages 10 to 17+ years is sufficient. (6 marks) iii. Based on the data in Tables 2 and 3, which forms of physical activity (i.e. MVPA, organized sport/play, free play, and active transport) help to explain the differences in levels of Page 4 of 8 physical activity (i) between males and females; and (ii) with age? Briefly explain your answers. (6 marks) iv. In the Discussion section, the authors discussed possible explanations for the age trend in physical activity among young people. Briefly describe four factors that may (or may not) help to explain the trend. (8 marks) Question 3: Further understanding age and gender differences in physical activity levels among young people Using the skills you developed in Topic 2, locate the journal article referenced below through either the Deakin Library website or Google Scholar. Read the article carefully before answering Questions 3 (i)–(iii). Carlin, A, Murphy, MH & Gallagher, AM 2015, ‘Current influences and approaches to promote future physical activity in 11-13 year olds: a focus group study’, BMC Public Health, vol. 15, pp. 1270–1272. i. Obtaining informed consent (after providing potential study participants with a plain language statement describing the research study) is one of the key ethical considerations identified in Topic 1. The authors state that “This study was approved by the University of Ulster Research Ethics Committee. Written consent was obtained from parents/guardians and children.” What are the four ethical principles for conducting health research as described in Topic 1? Which one of these four principles does “written consent” most closely address? (4 marks) Several themes emerged from the focus group discussion data. Please answer the following questions based on the four most commonly mentioned themes related to influences on current levels of physical activity. ii. Briefly describe what age-related factor in the theme “Friends and peers” differed for girls and boys? (4 marks) iii. Within the theme “Family and other people”, in what ways were parents perceived to support, but also constrain young people’s physical activity? (4 marks) iv. Within the theme “Consequences of not taking part”, did the data suggest that lack of knowledge of the health and health-related benefits of physical activity was a barrier to young people being physically active? Briefly explain your answer. (4 marks) v. Within the theme “Changing priorities”, briefly describe the key barriers to being physically active associated with the transition from primary school to secondary school (an agerelated factor)? (4 marks) Page 5 of 8 TASK B: Research hypotheses/questions Question 4: Research hypotheses and research questions addressing the topic of young people’s physical activity i. Develop a quantitative research hypothesis related to the topic of young people’s physical activity (it can be any sub-set of ‘young people’, for example, children, adolescents, boys, girls). (4 marks) ii. Develop a qualitative research question related to the topic of young people’s physical activity (it can be any sub-set of ‘young people’, for example, children, adolescents, boys, girls). (4 marks) Hints for answering Questions 4(i) and 4(ii):  Stating a research hypothesis in the form of a question does not necessarily mean that it is actually a qualitative research question. A qualitative research question is one that can be answered using qualitative study designs and methods rather than quantitative study designs and methods.  The Topic 1 content PDF and seminar activities will assist with understanding the difference between quantitative research hypotheses and studies, and qualitative research questions and studies. TASK C: Searching databases Question 5: Locating a peer-reviewed journal article on a specific topic Select either the hypothesis or research question you developed in Task B (Question 4). You must clearly state which one you have selected to use for Question 5 otherwise marks will be lost in this section. Using the skills you developed in Topic 2, access the Deakin College e-resources (through the Deakin Library website) and conduct a search for a journal article that is relevant to your research question/hypothesis. The article must be:  An academic journal article  Peer reviewed  Published within the past 10 years  Qualitative in nature if it is addressing the qualitative research question OR quantitative in nature if it is addressing the research hypothesis  Appropriate to the hypothesis/research question To receive any marks for this question you must paste the abstract of the article into your assignment as an appendix. Note that the abstract is NOT included in the word count for this assignment neither is its effect on your TurnItIn score. i. Name the database(s) you searched in order to find the article (remember that EBSCOHost is not itself a database, but rather, a platform that enables access to multiple databases). (2 mark) Page 6 of 8 ii. Specify the search terms you used to successfully locate the article. (2 mark) iii. Provide the full reference to this article (in Deakin-Harvard style) here as your answer to this question. (4 marks) iv. Based on the research findings from the article you located, together with the study findings from Olds et al. (2009) and/or Carlin et al. (2015) (Questions 2 and 3), write a brief recommendation suggesting four intervention/program approaches that could be used to increase young people’s levels of physical activity. These approaches should be things that could be done, rather than just a recommendation about who to target. Keep in mind that the purpose of this question is to use research findings to inform practice. For full marks you should include at least two approaches based on findings from Olds et al. (2009) and/or Carlin et al. (2015) (Questions 2 and 3). You should also provide in-text citations for the journal articles that your four recommended approaches came from. (8 marks) [10 marks will be awarded for writing, grammar, presentation and referencing] Page 7 of 8 How to structure your assignment This assignment should take the form of a structured report (i.e. a question answer format) rather than an “essay” and should be approached with a formal scientific writing style (i.e. full sentence structure). Please note you are not expected to re-write the questions in your assignment as this would be an unwise use of your word count. Please use appropriate section and question numbers to label your answers clearly. Assignment Title – Top of the first page Student name & ID – Either as a footer OR under the assignment title COMPULSORY: Label all responses to questions with the appropriate question number Font – 12 point, Times New Roman Line Spacing – 2 Margins – Normal Borders – None Use of references Include all references cited in your assignment (including those that you are instructed to locate and use) in a reference list at the end of the assignment, using the Deakin-Harvard (i.e. author-date) referencing style. If you refer to any additional data not included in these sources, you must reference these additional sources of data too. Remember that, as covered in Topic 2, references are not restricted to academic journals, and can include books and reports from reputable websites. Information about the Deakin-Harvard referencing style is available here: http://www.deakin.edu.au/students/study-support/referencing/harvard Word limit The word limit for the assignment is 800 words (excluding the reference list, but including in-text citations and headings). You are permitted a 10% margin over the word limit, but words over 880 will not be assessed. This is done to ensure equity among students—it is unfair if students who exceed the word limit get higher grades (due to including extra material over the word count) than students who comply with the limit. Also, concise writing that states the key points without being unnecessarily verbose is an important report-writing skill that you can demonstrate in your assignment! Using the TurnItIn Originality check and Assignment Submission Before submitting your assignment you should check the originality of your work using TurnItIn. In Week 4 there will be a PowerPoint presentation shown during your HBS108 lecture that will cover this process. Your lecturer will also show you how to submit your assignment online via Moodle. Until then read through the assignment material, attempt the assignment questions if you feel confident, and be ready to ask your lecturer any questions in class in Week 4!

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Solution 1: Physical activity has been considered as an important parameter in health maintenance. In 2011-12, time spent by toddlers and pre-schoolers (aged 2–4 years) in physical activity was on an average of around 6 hours per day. On the other hand, children and young people aged 5–17 years spent 91 minutes on physical activities daily.

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