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Evridiki Zachopoulou, Eleni Deli, Eleni Timpa & Efthimios Trevlas Alexandrio Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki Dept. of Early Childhood.

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Presentation on theme: "Evridiki Zachopoulou, Eleni Deli, Eleni Timpa & Efthimios Trevlas Alexandrio Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki Dept. of Early Childhood."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evridiki Zachopoulou, Eleni Deli, Eleni Timpa & Efthimios Trevlas Alexandrio Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki Dept. of Early Childhood Care & Education, Greece Parents’ opinions about the impact of a physical education program to their children’s healthy behavior EU SOCRATES Program, Comenius 2.1 Action 118192-CP-1-2004-1-GR-COMENIUS-C21

2 What is a healthy lifestyle? “A healthy lifestyle is a way of living that lowers the risk of being seriously ill or dying early…it is also about physical, mental and social well-being.” (WHO,1999)

3 Components of a healthy lifestyle Activity levels Fitness Emotional well-being Personal safety Smoking Nutrition Alcohol and drugs Healthy well-being

4 Worldwide health concerns- overweight and obese Child obesity is described as a “pandemic of the new millennium” (Kimm & Obarzanek, 2002) Globally, over 1 billion adults are overweight & 300 million estimated to be obese An estimated 2 million children under 5 are thought to be overweight Strong link between overweight as a child, becoming overweight as an adult and developing Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

5 Some examples “Sixty percent of Italian children under the age of 18 are overweight, a figure which has doubled in 4 or 5 years. ”(Signora Moratti, Minister of Education) 25.3% of Greek 6-10 year olds are overweight (Krassas, G.E et al, 2001) Cyprus reports overweight levels of over 20% in the 7-11 age group (IOTF, March 2005)

6 The UK Example Children’s activity levels decline with age (especially in girls) 1/3 rd of boys and ½ of girls are inactive and lead sedentary lifestyle Approximately 16% of 6-15 year olds are obese It is estimated that inactivity in the UK costs the National Health Service £8.2 billion per annum- with obesity costing £2.5 billion alone For up to 1/3 rd of children, PE in school is the only activity they do The UK currently has the first generation of children whose life expectancy is shorter than their parents Source: Department of Health, 2004


8 The Early Steps Project brings out the following: The meaning of the physical education for preschoolers The movement as a way of expression, development, learning Through physical education  improvement of all domains of development Improvement of the quality of school education European dimension to the field of physical education & early childhood education

9 Child’s body as the primary learning center building the foundations for future overall development and learning Meanings of the Movement for the young child  movement means discovery of the environment  movement is an important ingredient in communication  movement means acceptance  movement is sheer enjoyment and pleasure  movement means freedom and safety

10 Main hypothesis of ‘Early Steps’ project Could healthy issues be taught to preschoolers through movement activities ?

11 1 st year 1) Planning the Early Steps PE curriculum (ESPEC) 2) Training of school education staff 2 nd year 1) Implementation of the Early Steps PE curriculum 2) Evaluation of program implementation 3 rd year 1) Production of the final version of the Early Steps PE curriculum based on the results of the evaluation procedure 2) Dissemination of the results of the project Duration of ‘Early Steps’ project 10/2004 – 09/2007

12 Implementation of ESPEC Writing PhaseTraining Phase

13 Preparing the educational materials:  ESPEC – Healthy Lifestyle (24 lessons)  ESPEC – Social Interaction (24 lessons)  1 st Training Seminar: Finland (04/2005)  2 nd Training Seminar: Greece (05/2005) Writing Phase Training Phase

14 ESPEC – Healthy Lifestyle Standard Through the acquisition and the development of motor skills, preschool children will have a desire to be involved in a healthy lifestyle Goal 1 To be involved in a variety of physical activities Goal 2 Recognise the changes in body functions during physical activities Goal 3 Become aware of healthy lifestyle activities

15 4 Early Educators (Greece) ESPEC-Healthy Lifestyle 3 months 2 times weekly 40 – 45 min 94 children (50 boys, 44 girls) 4 – 5 years old 24 Lessons

16 Supervision Sheet Attendance Sheet Assessment procedure  Questionnaire for program evaluation  Questionnaire for children  Checklist for parents  Checklist for children  Interviews with teachers and PARENTS

17 The purpose of this paper : to present parents’ opinions about the impact of ESPEC – Healthy Lifestyle implementation on their children’s healthy choices during their everyday life

18 25 semi-structured interviews were carried out with the parents whose children participated in ESPEC – Healthy Lifestyle Each interview was recorded and then transcribed verbatim After ESPEC – Healthy Lifestyle implementation

19 Questions ??????  What are the major advantages (benefits) of ESPEC ?  What are the major disadvantages of ESPEC ?  Can you please describe to me the most positive effects of ESPEC ? (for children, teacher, school)  Can you please describe to me the most negative effects of ESPEC ?  What is the value of such programs?

20 Parent’s Interviews ….My child sometimes sees other children on the streets eating chocolates and lollipops and he tells me: “Look daddy, these children harm their health with these things that they eat”….. NUTRITION

21 …..Some days ago, my son ate, for his first time, mandarin oranges and he thinks that he is very strong, has taken many vitamins and is growing very fast…… In the past, he used to drink milk because he liked it, now he tells me “milk has calcium and is good for me”… he drinks it for these reasons too. NUTRITION

22 …..My son continuously asks what the ingredients of each food are and the way that they help. And he wants me to tell him all about fruits, vegetables, everything…he is very interested. I see an incredible change on my son, John. I am totally impressed with my child and I see a huge difference….. NUTRITION

23 I never followed a healthy life style. But now my son even gives healthy food to his sister who is much younger than him…he wants to make her eat right, and he forces us to eat right food, if he does not always follow it, it is because he is afraid of trying new tastes. NUTRITION

24 ….Sometimes I see my daughter at home in the evenings, after playing with her toys, she says: “Now I’m going to the gym (meaning her room) in order to exercise myself” leaving her play for a short time. She continues by saying, “I’m going inside for a while and I will come back”…. EXERCISE

25 I have caught them some evenings at home sitting together while one of them holds a paper and a pencil and pretends to be a teacher: “Is it good when we run?” “It’s good!” answers the other. “Well done!” “Is it good when we exercise and our hearts beats faster?” “It’s good!” “Well done!” Many times lately they play this game…and they ask their father and I to join in. This morning, when we were eating breakfast, suddenly they asked him: “When you wake up does you heart beat faster?” EXERCISE

26 …..He knows how to understand his breathing, and “Now, Daddy, my heart is beating much more” he said. When he runs and gets tired, he tries to take some position on the floor and rest himself. This is something he never did before; he does it as a program…… EXERCISE

27 He has us exercise at home and pretends that he is the teacher. He directs us as to what we should do, and this is his favorite game. Now there are four of us in the house and we exercise together … we listen to him because I believe that it’s good for us. He also has his younger sister, who is very young, exercise. Sometimes, he has us walk like giants and dwarfs. I don’t know if you do this at the school, but he also likes to have us walk along paths between some obstacles and to jump onto these obstacles. EXERCISE

28 She always waited with excitement, “Oh! Today we didn’t go to the gym”. I don’t know for what reason the lesson was cancelled; and when we went to the lesson “Oh, today we did this ….and they said that….”. At the beginning, I didn’t understand. “You do all this things at school?” GENERAL IMPRESSIONS

29 She comes home excited and tells me “we played this game….”. She likes it so much, she sees it as a game and not as a lesson, and she shows it at her brother. They play a game and she says: “chocolate, don’t move”. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS

30 We change our every day food choices - in order to help, we try to update, and I don’t want the things that we say to conflict with those of the school and to create a mess for the child. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS

31 Website:

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