Neringa Strazdienė, Birutė Strukčinskienė, Alona Rauckienė-Michaelsson, Sigitas Griškonis
Children leisure time is usually decided by their immediate environment, i.e. their family. Therefore, leisure activities which are designed in a family and which enable children to discover pleasant experiences and motivate them to care of their own health are of extreme importance. The aim of the study was to highlight the peculiarities of the organization of leisure time activities in a family for elementary school students in the context of health education. The respondents of the study were 614 elementary school students from eight Western Lithuania schools and 604 of their parents. The study has shown that elementary school students rate their health more favourably than their parents. Almost half of the respondents-children 42.7%) have rated their health as very good and around the same number of children (45.3%) have rated it as good. One fifth of respondents-parents (20.7%) have rated the health of their children as very good and more than half of parents (62.3%) have said that the health of their children is good. The opinion of parents and their children on the issue of the time allocated for leisure activities has been discovered as being similar. Respondentschildren indicate that on weekdays their leisure time averages to 2.4 hours/day and at the weekends to 4.3 hours/day. Respondents-parents indicate that children‘s leisure time on weekdays lasts for 2.2 hours/day, and at the weekends it reaches 4.4 hours /day. It has been revealed that the longer the leisure time the children have, the better their health is. The majority of children (78%) believe that they have enough leisure time. Those, who assume that they do not have enough leisure time, and those, who are undecided, make almost one-fourth (24%). A third of elementary school students enjoy physically active forms of leisure time activities (going in for sports) while about a half of respondents-children prefer passive forms of leisure time activities (artistic activities, watching TV, playing computer games, reading books). Respondents-children point out that they devote on average 3.4 hours/day for passive forms of activities and 2.2.hours/day for physical active leisure activities. Their parents state that children spend 4.3 hours /day for passive activities and 1.8 hours/day for physical active leisure activities. Only about one-tenth of families engage themselves in mutual active forms of physical activities and play sports together. Therefore, the leisure time spent by children together with the family is not sufficiently active.
Keyword(s): elementary school children, leisure time, health education, family.
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