PESH 1(2012) 2:111-118
(Professional paper)
Goran Šekeljić & Zana Bojović
Faculty of Teacher Education Uzice, University of Kragujevac
One of the biggest health issues today is the overweight in children, young people and adults. The
school is recognized as one of the causes of hypokinesis, but also as one of the factors that may affect the
promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Of all school subjects teaching Physical Education is the best place where
you can influence the solution of this problem. The involvement of students in the physical education class
is between 8 - 20 minutes, so the question is whether such a small efficiency can form positive attitudes
towards physical exercise necessary for a healthy life style? For this to really happen we need to improve
teaching physical education by modernizing curricula, increasing the number of classes, having better
public control of the teaching process and improving the quality of physical education classes.
Key words: physical education, overweight, hypokinesis, healthy lifestyles
The tendency to increase the incidence of overweight and obesity in children, adolescents and
adults are very current medical problems in most
countries in the world. This research contributes to
learning about the magnitude of the problem and
the causes of obesity. Also, it can contribute to
devising strategies for the adoption of desirable
lifestyle through physical education in order to
reduce obesity and the consequences that may
arise from such a situation.
significantly higher percentage of fat than boys
(Barlow, 2007). Adipose tissue can be estimated in
several ways: measuring the thickness of subcutaneous folds, body mass index (BMI), and resistance index using bioelectrical impedance and
water dilution method, and are also known some
subjective methods such as silhouette method.
Assessment of obesity exacerbates the lack of a
simple and precise method for the measurement of
total body fat mass and the lack of clear criteria for
identifying overweight children (Miller et al.,
2004; Kiess et al., 2001). In everyday practice, the
degree of obesity is usually estimated on the basis
of body mass index - BMI, which represents the
ratio of body weight (kg) and the square of height
(m). This method shows satisfactory correlation
with direct measurement of body fat in children
and in adults (Rosner, 1998), with a thickness of
triceps skinfold (Malina ? Katzmarzyk, 1999), and
the thickness of the waist (Jovanovic et al., 2010).
However, problems in the application of BMI in
the assessment of nutritional status may be due to
large changes in body composition depending on
age and gender. Therefore, the values ??converted
to the corresponding percentile. According to the
European criteria children with a BMI above the
97th percentile for age and gender are considered
obese, while children with a BMI in the range of
85th to 97 percentile are classified as children who
Overweight and obesity are caused by excessive accumulation of fat in the body. Childhood
and adolescent obesity is defined as body mass
increased above the reference values that are specific for sex, age and height, and the result is an
increased amount of fat in the body (Peco-Antic,
2009). There are several different forms of obesity,
“ordinary”, constitutional, hypothalamic and syndromic (Peterka, 2011). The total fat content in the
body changes as they grow up. At birth, the median is at a low of 13 kg/m2, then the first year
increasing to a value of 17 kg/m2, to a 6 year-old
decreased to 15.5 kg/m2, and then increased again
to values of 21 kg/m2 with 20 year-old. (Malina &
Katzmarzyk 1999). In adolescence, girls have a
are overweight. Severe or morbid obesity is
defined by body mass index greater than 99 percentile (Kiess, 2001).
PESH 1(2012) 2:111-118
the total number of adults 54% are overweight,
36.7% of which falls into the category of obese
and 17.3% in the obese category. According to the
same source, the average BMI of adults in the U.S.
is 26 ± 4.8 kg/m2, and it is slightly higher in rural
than in urban areas of Serbia.
As far as young people in the survey of the
Ministry of Health in 2006, (Grozdanov et al.,
2008) two-thirds of young people aged 7-19 in
Serbia had normal weight, while 18% were overweight and 11% obese, which is an increase compared to 2000 when the moderately obese were
8.2% and 4.4% obese. According to the information and Miljus Jorge (2001) in Belgrade in
2000.,17.4% of primary school had increased
Obesity in children and adolescents, especially
the visceral type, is considered one of the most
important problems of our health problems so
large that reaches epidemic proportions in all
industrialized countries (WHO, 2000). Researche
Aycan (2009) shows that in the first decade of the
21st century annual prevalence of overnutrition
worldwide increases by almost 6% in all age
groups. Problems with overweight appear in any
early age and it is believed that today more than
10% of the world population of school children are
overweight (Visscher. et al, 2010). WHO (2000)
has data that in the U.S.in 2000 there were 20%
of obese adults, and it is estimated that in 2015
they would be 30%, and in 2025 over 40%.
Particular concern is the fact that since 1970 in the
United States doubled the number of obese children aged 6-11 years, and got tripled the number of
obese children and adolescents aged 12-19 years
(Ogden et al, 1997).
Similar situation is in Europe, where for the
past two decades the prevalence of overweight and
obese children increased from under 10% to over
20%, while in some countries it exceeded 30%
(Lobstein et al, 2004). Jackson-Leach et al. (2006)
predicted that in Europe in 2010 about 36% of
school-age children would be overweight or obese.
The results of several studies implemented in various European countries suggest that the prevalence of obesity in adolescents in different countries is very different, and that is slightly higher in
western and southern Europe, as compared to central and northern Europe (Lissau, 2004). Variations
range from 13% in Finland, 16% in the Czech
Republic, about 10% in Slovakia, 33% in Greece
and 36% in Italy, 37% in Spain, in the UK the
number is estimated at about 23% (Cali et al, 2008;
Wang. 2006), and in various regions of Russia
ranges between 5.5 and 11.8% (Peterka, 2001).
According to the International Obesity Task
Force in 2005, Serbia is at the top of countries with
rapidly increasing prevalence of childhood obesity
in the last decade (Wang, 2006). This is also confirmed by the data of Zivic et al. (2011) according
to which in 2000 more than half of the population
had a problem with weight. This means that out of
According to the definition of Šimleša (1971)
teaching is a unique educational process in which
simultaneously are acquired knowledge, skills and
habits, mental and physical skills are formed, positive personal qualities are built. Hence, it follows
that the acquisition of knowledge, skills and habits
is the material task of teaching aimed to achieve
the desired transformation of students. In this
paper we analyze the real impact of physical training considering the modest effects achieved in the
classroom. According to the current regulations of
the curriculum for Physical Education goals and
objectives are presented at three levels. Generally
speaking, the goal of Physical Education is to contribute, by using diverse and systematic athletic
activities, associated with other educational and
pedagocical areas, an integrated development of
personaility of students (cognitive, affective,
motor), development of motor skills, acquisition,
development and implementation of motor knowledge, habits and necessary theoretical knowledge
in everyday and specific conditions of life and
work. Hence arises that there are the seven tasks
of Physical Education and for us the most important in this work are those related to the so- called
segment of the biological tasks of teaching.
Encourage growth, development and influence
on proper body position. The notion development
means qualitative and quantitative changes in
organism characteristics. Balanced and an
enabling physical engagement during curriculum
and extra-curricular activities means a profession-
al, preventive intervention in the detection and
removing obstacles that impede or interfere with
natural development. This implies impact on the
ubiquitous hypokinesis (insufficient movement)
and other exogenous factors whose effects can prevent adequate exercises during Physical Education
Training students to use the acquired motor
skills in everyday life is the ultimate meaning of
Physical Education. The aim of teaching physical
education is the acquisition of skills, knowledge
and habits of this teaching area. However, with this
the sense of teaching does not end. The ultimate
meaningfulness and aspiration of teaching is to
apply the adopted motor skills, habits and necessary theoretical knowledge in everyday and specific conditions of life and work. Thus, it may be
noted the tendency and need to make the most difficult step in teaching physical education in their
professional educational context, which is to
enable students to understand the meaning, value
and importance of physical activity and physical
fitness. It involves methodical activities that will:
- persuade or help students find meaning and
value in physical activity as a personal property,
value and need,
- it will encourage students to create and then
reinforce the habit to persist with such activities
not only in the physical education classes, but in a
free, non-teaching time and the students will get
used to physical activity, .
- to incorporate planned and conceived physical
activity into daily life and culture of life in general.
Acquiring and developing awareness of the
need for health, health preservation and protection
of nature and environmental protection (health
education) means that the students master basic
knowledge, skills, attitudes and values in the area
of health education, through the learning process
based on a personal experience. The task of the
classes is to create hygienic habits, which means
forming a proper relation towards personal
hygiene, nutrition, proper organization of work
and rest, being aware of negative impact of alcohol, cigarettes, narcotics and hazardous games.
Health is a global anthropological issue in a
problematic sense and operatonally and due to this,
the problem can be effectively solved only by
working through the system of physical education
classes in conjunction with other curriculum areas.
PESH 1(2012) 2:111-118
Health of an individual is not only personal issue,
but also the public benefit. It is therefore important
to develop mentally and physically healthy people,
but also to influence them to understand that each
of them can independently affect the quality of
their health. Therefore, it is necessary to encourage
the knowledge of himself, of his own body and
abilities, to create the right relationship with them,
to create incentives, to enable them to become
active participants in health care. For all this, for
them it is also necessary to acquire the knowledge,
skills and habits in order to maintain and improve
their health and transfer this knowledge to their
families. Hygiene habits as a broad concept, basically involve the formation of proper attitude to
personal hygiene, nutrition, proper organization of
rest and work, understanding the negative impact
of alcohol, cigarettes, narcotics and hazardous
It may be noted that in teaching Physical
Education there are some complicated and very
complex tasks. Analysis made over previous several decades of the effects of teaching Physical
Education indicates that it is not able to respond to
such a big requirement (Arunovic, 1992;
Krsmanovic, 1996; Bokan et al., 1990; Stamatovic
& Šekeljic, 2006 a, b, 2008, 2011; Jovanovic,
1998; Kukolj, 2003; Martrinovic, 2003; Matic &
Bokan, 2005; Šekeljic, 2005; Šekeljic &
Stamatovic, 2006 b; Šekeljic et al., 2009, 2011).
Such outcomes are not unexpected when the average duration of Physical Education classes is taken
into consideration. According to the survey of
Krsmanovic (1996), it is about 37 minutes, minus
the usual organizational and communication activities at the beginning of the class, it remains
around 30 minutes for active exercise with the students. Data on active time suggest that each student during the class is active between 8.49 to
15.39 minutes (Ivanic, 1969; Bozovic, 2011;
Krsmanovic, 1992, 1996; Miškovic, 1978;
Stanojevic, 1961). The results of the survey of
Arunovic et al. (1979), Petrovic (2010) and
Vukašinovic et al. (2010) suggest that the active
time of students during the class is even less when
it comes to the classes with content of gymnastics.
Daunting fact stems from the research of Božoviæ
(2011) who, in his study, managed, by applying
additional exercises and ring-form training in an
experimental group, to increase statistically significant active time of students during the classes, but
even then it was not more than 22 min. for each
The reasons for extremely badly organized
classes of Physical Education, according to the
above mentioned authors, are the staff competencies and their motivation to realize the objectives
set in the curriculum. E.g. weaknesses of teaching
process Visnjic (2004) explains as a result of an
extremely poor engagement of Physical Education
teachers, because it is known that active time of
students depends on the organizational and
methodological forms that are applied during the
When riviewing the data of Arunovic et al.
(1979) that at the annual level, during 108 classes,
a student does the exercises 10 hours, when the
time they spend being actively involved during all
classes is counted, then it is clear why, in such a
short period of time, it is difficult to improve seriously physical development or to do more serious
impact on the structures from motor space (Visnjiæ
et al., 2004). It is interesting that the latest research
shows that even implementation of diverse
methodical placement and organizational forms of
work such as working with stations and additional
exercises, ring-training method and the method of
work with types in classes of gymnastics is not
achieved active time of exercising more than 13.5
minutes (Petrovic, 2010), and 21 minutes
(Bozovic, 2011).
Problem that appears in our education system
does not have a local character because they have
similar problems in other European countries. So,
for example, Brettschneider and Brandl-Bredenbeck (2008) noticed similar problems in preschool age and younger grades of elementary
schools in Germany.
PESH 1(2012) 2:111-118
dozens of works, which directly indicate the relation between physical activity, physical development, the level of ability and motor health
(Anderssen et al., 2007; Janssen, 2007; Malina
Bouchard, 1991; Ortega et al., 2008; Strong et al.,
2005). All the works indicate reduced physical
activities due to changes in lifestyle. One of the
causes of such situation Owens et al. (2000), see in
the school where children spend 7 of the 14 classes in which they are awake. Therefore, Ziegler
(1994); Johns (2005) and Waring et al, (2007) suggest that the school is one of the causes of sedentary lifestyle, but that it is possible to find solution
to the problem. Apparently, the Physical Education
in schools may not meet a necessary minimum for
everyday moderately-intense physical activity of
60 minutes as recommended by Strong et al.
(2005). Mark et al., (2003) suggest that the meaning of sport in school classes is not only to be
physically active, because such activity is insufficient, but also to affect , through comprehensive
education approach, the childrens` attitudes and to
arouse their interest in healthy lifestyle. This idea
is well-known to our professional public through
the works of Matiæ and Bokana (1990) with the
idea that if the active time that can be achieved
during classes proves to be insufficient to meet the
goals of Physical Education classes, then some of
them can be realized through homeworks.
In any case, if the curriculum is not implemented properly, or ends at an early age, it may happen
that the students do not acquire the skills and
habits by regular exercising, which will result in a
deviation of the physical activity that has not been
engaged in subsequent life period (Hardman,
Multiple studies indicate that among other factors (family, society, culture, genetics) the school
generates significantly hypokinesia problem and
all other problems arising from such a lifestyle.
Schools are expected to solve this problem, that is
to say physical education classes. The involvement
of students in the class are between 8 - 20 minutes
and the question is how it is possible, with such a
small efficiency, to achieve these serious and very
demanding goals? However, in terms of school
subjects, teaching physical education is the biggest
factor that can affect the solution of problems such
as hypokinesia, the excessive weight and adop-
The consequences of inadequate teaching of
Physical Education are not only educational or of
the educational nature , but they also have a health
care implication. Lack of physical activities, the
influence of sedentary lifestyle on health status of
children and adults are one of current topics in the
world at this moment. There can be counted
tion of a healthy lifestyle. For this to happen it is
necessary to improve physical education classes
by changing the curriculum, increasing the number
of classes, improving control of all interested
PESH 1(2012) 2:111-118
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improve physical education class in its structure
and form.
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Goran V. Šekeljic
University of Kragujevac
Faculty of Teacher Education
Uzice, Serbia
e-mail:[email protected]
PESH 1(2012) 2:111-118
(Stru~en trud)
Goran [ekeqi} i @ana Bojovi}
Fakultet za obrazovanie na nastavnici, U`ice, R. Srbija
Eden od najgolemite zdravstveni problemi denes e prekumernata te`ina na decata,
mladite i vozrasnite. U~ili{teto e prepoznatlivo kako edna od pri~inite za
hipokinezija, no, isto taka, kako eden od faktorite koi mo`at da vlijaat na promocija
na zdrav na~in na `ivot. Od site u~ili{ni predmeti na nastavata po fizi~ko
obrazovanie najsoodvetno da mo`e da se vlijae na re{avaweto na ovoj problem.
Aktivnoto vreme na u~enicite na ~asot se dvi`i od 8 do 20 minuti, pa pra{awe e kako
so tolku mala efikasnost mo`e da se formiraat pozitivni stavovi kon fizi~koto
ve`bawe koe e potrebno za zdrav na~in na `ivot? Za ova navistina da se slu~i, treba da
se podobri nastavata fizi~ko obrazovanie preku modernizirawe na nastavnite
programi, zgolemuvawe na brojot na ~asovite, podobra op{testvena kontrola na
nastavniot proces i podobruvawe na kvalitetot na ~asovite po fizi~ko obrazovanie.
Klu~ni zborovi: fizi~ko obrazovanie, prekumerna te`ina, hipokinezija,
zdrav na~in na `ivot.

18. Goran Sekeljic, Zana Bojovic.qxp