Uluslararası Yüksek Beden Eğitimi Okulları Birliği Kongresi (AIESEP), Limerik, Ireland, 22 - 25 June 2011, pp.72
Literature related to health of children indicated that low physical activity (PA) is also an emerging issue in rural context as well as in urban context. Recently, individual based studies were not meeting the expectations in health changes. Considering different individual levels and environmental levels for PA behavioral changes there are limited theories and models. Purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a socio-ecological intervention on PA knowledge and PA behaviors of students living in rural areas. Mixed method research design was used throughout the study. After pre-test post-test control group design, focus group discussions were implemented with both sexes separately. Two schools from the similar rural settings were identified as experimental and control schools. Totally 62 students from 6, 7, 8 grades of these schools participated in this study. Experimental school participated in an after-school program and their PA environment was changed based on the socio-ecological model (SEM) with a focus on behavioral, intrapersonal, interpersonal, community level and organizational factors, and public policies related with PA. Health related fitness knowledge (HRFK) test, pedometer, self-efficacy, exercise stages of change, social support, PA enjoyment questionnaires were used for the data collection for PA knowledge and behavior respectively. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used for the numeric data and content analysis were used as a statistical analysis. According to HRFK and PA analysis, experimental school students significantly improved their HRFK scores, PA levels, social support compared to the control group students (p<0.05). Findings supports the value of SEM in improving the health related fitness score, PA level and social support of students in rural context. Reconsidering the rural school context for PA promotion by SEM is recommended.
Keywords: Socio-ecological intervention, health related fitness knowledge, physical activity level, exercise behavior, middle school