Next Article in Journal
Empathy as a Factor Conditioning Attitudes towards the Elderly among Physiotherapists—Results from Poland
Previous Article in Journal
Prognostic Factors of the Inability to Bear Self-Weight at Discharge in Patients with Fragility Femoral Neck Fracture: A 5-Year Retrospective Cohort Study in Thailand
 
 
Review

Children’s Voices in Physical Activity Research: A Qualitative Review and Synthesis of UK Children’s Perspectives

1
Centre for Exercise, Nutrition & Health Sciences, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TZ, UK
2
Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
3
Children and Families Research Centre, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TZ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Bristol Children’s Vaccine Centre, Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol BS2 8AE, UK.
Academic Editor: Adilson Marques
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 3993; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19073993
Received: 11 February 2022 / Revised: 17 March 2022 / Accepted: 24 March 2022 / Published: 28 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Children's Health)
Background: Physical activity during childhood is associated with multiple short- and long-term health benefits. Physical activity levels decline throughout primary school emphasising a need for effective strategies to promote more activity in children. Children have rarely been involved in the intervention development process. This gap is an important omission and there is much to be learnt from existing qualitative studies with children, which could serve as a starting point for specific projects. This systematic review aimed to synthesise qualitative studies with primary school children in the United Kingdom to identify children’s perspectives on why physical activity is important, the factors that influence their physical activity and what they like when it comes to physical activity. Methods: A search of seven databases (conducted in October 2019) identified 26 papers for inclusion. Data extraction and synthesis were conducted using qualitative thematic synthesis. The quality of papers was assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist for qualitative research. Results: Across the diverse range of studies, several key themes were identified in relation to the three research questions. Children have a comprehensive understanding of the various benefits of physical activity, including benefits for health, fitness and skills development. A range of social agents and practical issues influence children’s physical activity, with friend and peer influences being particularly salient. Most children like to have choice over the activities they undertake and the opportunities for creative physical play such as making up active games. Conclusions: The findings suggest that future interventions should utilize peer relationships, ensure a variety of activities are offered to cater to a broad range of children’s physical activity preferences and incorporate child-led activities where possible. The included studies also highlight a need for more diversity in qualitative research in this area, particularly in terms of ethnicity and age, and combining traditional qualitative methods with creative methods, such as photography, may provide richer insights than when using a single mode of data collection. We also highlight several methodological challenges, and in particular, the need for greater acknowledgement of the role of the researcher in qualitative work with children. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical activity; children; qualitative systematic review physical activity; children; qualitative systematic review
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Emm-Collison, L.; Cross, R.; Garcia Gonzalez, M.; Watson, D.; Foster, C.; Jago, R. Children’s Voices in Physical Activity Research: A Qualitative Review and Synthesis of UK Children’s Perspectives. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 3993. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19073993

AMA Style

Emm-Collison L, Cross R, Garcia Gonzalez M, Watson D, Foster C, Jago R. Children’s Voices in Physical Activity Research: A Qualitative Review and Synthesis of UK Children’s Perspectives. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(7):3993. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19073993

Chicago/Turabian Style

Emm-Collison, Lydia, Rosina Cross, Maria Garcia Gonzalez, Debbie Watson, Charlie Foster, and Russell Jago. 2022. "Children’s Voices in Physical Activity Research: A Qualitative Review and Synthesis of UK Children’s Perspectives" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 7: 3993. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19073993

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop