This research study was conducted by primary teachers covering a range of stages in different primary schools. The aim of the research study was to Encourage Physical Activity Through Digital Learning during the national lockdown of 2021. Due to the lockdown we had to ensure that our research study was related to digital learning. As a group we discussed our experiences of digital learning and discovered that we all felt that (prior to digital learning) a good number of children in our classes were spending a large amount of time online. We felt that with the introduction of digital learning the time spent online by the children was increasing and we wanted to encourage the children to participate in physical activity in order to benefit their health and wellbeing. Within Scotland there is currently a childhood obesity epidemic, one of the causes of this epidemic has been identified as children having reduced opportunities for play activities and spending hours engaged in sedentary activities each day (Obesity Action Scotland, online). Research has also shown that there are strong links between screen time and a range of health problems in children and young people such as unhealthy diet, depressive symptoms and quality of life (Stiglic & Viner, 2019). These factors have been further heightened by the covid-19 pandemic. Research has shown that increased physical activity doesn’t only benefit children’s health and wellbeing but can also help to improve attainment (Norris et al, 2019).
The National Health Service (NHS) advises that children and young people should “Aim for at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a day across the week” (NHS, online). We wanted to encourage the children in our classes to work towards achieving at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day in order to improve their health and wellbeing during this period of digital learning and to encourage good habits relating to physical activity going forward.
The aim of this enquiry was to encourage physical activity through digital learning.