n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Physical education : a qualitative study of grade 10 learners' perceptions and health

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Modern sedentary lifestyles, an increase in the consumption of nutrient dense foods and declining levels of participation in physical activity progressing from childhood to adulthood have been implicated in the occurrence of many hypokinetic diseases including obesity and coronary artery disease (CAD). Despite this quality health and physical education (PE) programmes are not employed as a proactive preventative measure to address this issue. The purpose of this study was therefore to investigate, using qualitative methods, the perceptions of grade 10 learners with regard to PE at schools and make recommendations thereon. Informal focus group interviews were conducted with 68 Grade 10 learners (n = 39 males and 29 females) from different high schools in Gauteng, South Africa. The interviews were conducted outside the formal classroom situation and PE lesson to access information regarding the perceptions of learners with regard to physical education (PE). Several underlying themes which included value, enjoyment, support, preferred PE activities and obstacles to involvement in physical activity emerged from the study. The descriptive information demonstrated that future physical education educators should be adequately prepared to guide their learners in the process of becoming physically active and healthy for a lifetime by focusing on lifetime activities and health-enhancing behaviors linked to health concepts and skills such as healthy eating, safety and stress management with less emphasis on athletic skills.

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