Physical activity levels among young children with ASN/disability

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2009
Thesis identifier
  • T12231
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • The aim of this study was to investigate the opportunities available for participation in physical activity for children with Additional Support Needs and or disabilities in a sample of mainstream primary schools in Glasgow. Despite the voluminous amount of research that has been published in the field of physical activity there remains a paucity of information on activity patterns in exercise for children with Additional Support Needs. The research has been prompted by concerns and anecdotal stories about low levels of participation in physical activity by young children with ASN in a mainstream setting. As part of the Standards Scotland Schools Act 2000 (section 15) schools, across Scotland, will offer mainstream education to all children, including those with physical and educational special needs, other than in exceptionally circumstances. The specific aim of this research was to highlight barriers against children with ASN participating in physical activity sessions to the same extent as their able bodied peers. Fifty three primary schools in Glasgow were approached to take part in this research. A letter was sent to the Head Teacher along with a sample questionnaire. Thirty one schools agreed to participate but only twenty one returned their questionnaires. One hundred and seventy one questionnaires (answered by the parents) were sent out and forty seven were returned. The results suggest that the majority of children in this study (74.4%) were not participating in the American College of Sports Medicine recommendation of 60 minutes of physical activity per day. This figure was much lower than the Scottish Heath Survey (2003) where it was reported that 74% of boys and 63% girls did achieve this recommendation. The results also discovered that only 11% of the children in this report attended extra curriculum activities. This compares to a national average of 45% of able bodied children (Sports England 2001). A fair majority (42.6%) of the parents in this study felt that their child's ASN prevented them from taking part in physical activity sessions offered at their school. Various reasons were given for this including transport difficulties and lack of knowledge and understanding about the child's disability. The findings of this research indicate that children with Additional Support Needs in a primary school setting are not getting the same opportunities to participate in physical activity sessions that are offered at their schools.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2009
Former identifier
  • 794694