About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 449-454
Publication year: 2020
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.0193

Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain

INNOVATIVE ACADEMIC APPROACHES TO PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AS A HEALTH PROMOTION STRATEGY

D. Vankova, Z. Videnova

Medical University of Varna (BULGARIA)
Background:
Physical activity (PA) is a lifestyle determinant which can produce significant benefits for health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines PA as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Worldwide, insufficient PA has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths.
PA as a behaviour is “conceived” in the family, developed at school but should be maintained at an academic level. Therefore, regular moderate intensity PA, such as participating in sports classes is a major protective health factor. Studying different kinds of sports is the classical approach to enhance PA at the educational settings. However, the innovative research focus in the presented project are the Bulgarian folk dances (BgFD), which are a compulsory elective discipline (CED) alongside with sports. The academic setting is the Medical University of Varna (MU-Varna) and the researched community are the students who study BgFD or sports. The overall aim is twofold: to evaluate the influence of BgFD on students’ subjective health and the place of BgFD in the academic curriculum. The driving hypothesis was that as PA and CED, BgFD are equivalent to sports.

Methodology and sampling:
The study protocol consisted of a quantitative (sociological approach - 3 questionnaires and anthropometric methods) and qualitative phase (Delphi study). The questionnaires were piloted in April 2018. The sampling took place during the second half of September, 2018 and finally included 184 students from Bulgarian language courses separated into two main groups – studying BgFD (n=92) and sports (n=92). The collected data was processed with IBM SPSS Statistics v.23.

Results:
The results can be framed in 6 groups:
1) History of physical activity; students’ attitudes and motivation. Among the participants, around 37% have never practiced sports or BgFD outside their secondary school sport classes. Students attending the BgFD-classes found the dances motivating, relaxing and making them more organised. Students attending the classes found the dances as motivating, relaxing and making them more organised.
2) Assessing the levels of subjective health among students. "BgFD help for better physical and emotional health" - 78.8% of BgFD-group shared this statement. Overall, all the participants reported higher subjective health levels at the end of the semester.
3) Assessment of the stress levels of students. Data show that over 50% of the study participants have very high or moderate levels of stress.
4) Anthropometric profile of the students shows that 59.74% of the participants are obese or overweight.
5) Delphi technique which reached a consensus on the special place of the BgFD in the academic curriculum.
6) An innovative electronic educational tool “Guide for studying BgFD” was developed in order to enhance healthy PA among the students.

Discussion and conclusions:
According the WHO, 81% of school-going adolescents are not physically active enough. For 56.4% of those who are enrolled in the BgFD-classes, dances are the only weekly PA. Further, practicing BgFD is an emotional experience. Dancing BgFD creates friendships, combats stress, and improves health status as the sports do. The CED “BgFD” is an innovative academic approach to PA and a health promotion strategy which empowers the students, advocates for healthy lifestyles and mediates for better quality of life.
@InProceedings{VANKOVA2020INN,
author = {Vankova, D. and Videnova, Z.},
title = {INNOVATIVE ACADEMIC APPROACHES TO PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AS A HEALTH PROMOTION STRATEGY},
series = {14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2020 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-17939-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2020.0193},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2020.0193},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2020},
year = {2020},
pages = {449-454}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Vankova AU - Z. Videnova
TI - INNOVATIVE ACADEMIC APPROACHES TO PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AS A HEALTH PROMOTION STRATEGY
SN - 978-84-09-17939-8/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2020.0193
PY - 2020
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2020
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2020 Proceedings
SP - 449
EP - 454
ER -
D. Vankova, Z. Videnova (2020) INNOVATIVE ACADEMIC APPROACHES TO PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AS A HEALTH PROMOTION STRATEGY, INTED2020 Proceedings, pp. 449-454.
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