Getting Physical

What Are the Influences Affecting Student Participation in Physical Activity and Education?
  • Anthony GugliottaEmail author


Sport and physical activity have been part of my family’s culture; this shaped the person I grew up to be and the key values (group cooperation, professionalism and punctuality) I choose to display in all aspects of my life. When I began my teaching practice, however, I witnessed the difficulty of catering for all students, discovering that not all liked Physical Education (PE) as much as I did. Those interested in PE select it as their elective straightaway in first semester, leaving others to choose it for second semester, and thus I saw the ratio of students not interested in sports shift dramatically. Through my teaching experiences I learned that a student’s attitude towards PE can be influenced by multiple factors, including family, whether the school provides a quality PE program taught by skilled staff, and whether students perceive that teachers enjoy what they are teaching—an idea I tried to implement, often by joining in lessons to help create my intended atmosphere. The community also plays a role, with the availability of parks, ovals, bike paths and beaches providing opportunities for physical activity. While multiple factors thus influence young people’s participation in physical activity, the quality of teaching and school resources can foster positive participation in PE, and hopefully this will carry over into a physically active lifestyle.


Physical Activity Physical Education Physical Education Teacher Bike Path Rugby League 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics). (2013). Australian health survey: Physical activity: 2011-12. Accessed 1 Oct 2015.Google Scholar
  2. ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority). (2013). Health and PE.
  3. Buckworth, J. (2007). Behavior change. In E. T. Howley & B. D. Franks (Eds.), Fitness professional’s handbook (5th ed., pp. 332–342). Champaign: Human Kinetics.Google Scholar
  4. Davison, K., & Lawson, C. (2006). Do attributes in the physical environment influence children’s physical activity? A review of the literature. International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, 3, 19–36. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-3-19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Department of Education, Northern Territory. (2008). Policy: Physical activity requirements for schools. Accessed 8 Aug 2015.Google Scholar
  6. Gosse, D., & Facchinetti, A. (2011). What’s in the male? Education Today, 11(2), 26–30.Google Scholar
  7. Helding, L. (2009). Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Journal of Singing, 66(2), 193–199.Google Scholar
  8. Marzano, J.R., & Pickering, J.D., with Arredondo, E.D., Blackburn, J.G., Brandt, S.R., Moffett, A.C., et al. (2006). Dimensions of learning: Teachers manual (2nd ed.). Heatherton: Hawker Brownlow Education.Google Scholar
  9. McDonald, T. (2010). Classroom management: Engaging students in learning. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Morley, B., Scully, M., Niven, P., Baur, L. A., Crawford, D., Flood, V., et al. (2012). Prevalence and socio-demographic distribution of eating, physical activity and sedentary behaviours among Australian adolescents. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 23(3), 213–218. doi: 10.1071/HE12213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Rom, R. B. (1998). ‘Safe spaces’: Reflections on an educational metaphor. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 30(4), 397–408. doi: 10.1080/002202798183549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Walsh, M. (2010). Multimodal literacy: What does it mean for classroom practice? Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 33(3), 211–239.Google Scholar
  13. Ward, D. S., Saunders, R. P., & Pate, R. R. (2007). Physical activity interventions in children and adolescents. Champaign: Human Kinetics.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Charles Darwin UniversityDarwinAustralia

Personalised recommendations