physical education and sports participation

Purpose: This study was designed to investigate students’ perceptions of the factors that improve their quality of life through physical education and sport participations.


One of the most striking problems of quality of life improvement today is the sedentary life we live and the lack of participation in physical education and sports, which arises as a result of inability of students to have improved quality life. This improvement of quality life is concerned with the promotion of health status of individuals and communities.

Methods and Materials: 250 students were randomly selected from the department of physical and health education and college athletes of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Otto/Ijanikin, Lagos. Questionnaires were used as the instrument for data collection while simple percentatges and chi-square (X2) analysis were employed in data analysis and testing the formulated hypothesis at 0.05 level of significance.

Results: Findings from the study shows that factors like happiness to partake in sporting activities, keeping faith in physical activities/fitness and personal interests improves the quality of life of the students, which helped maintained their good health.

Conclusions: Physical education and sports participation among the students influenced their quality of life greatly, which improves their quality health. However, they encountered fewer problems, which they believed didnot impede their quality of life. A number of recommendations were made on the improvements of quality life through physical education and sport participations.

Keywords: Health, Participation, Physical Activity, Physical Fitness, Quality Life.

Life is defined as the period between a person’s birth and death during which they are alive (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, 2009). Life can also be regarded as all the experiences and activities that are typical of a particular way of living. This further implies that level or quality of health, comfort and pleasure in someone’s life.

Physical education is an integral part (important part) of general education. It is part of general education, which is concerned with the development of an individual physically, socially, mentally, emotionally and his/her health generally (Akinseye, 2008). Apart from these, physical education through well-planned and programmed exercise, helps to remove stress and strain of modern-day living.

It provides avenues for physical fitness and relaxation thereby promoting physical and mental health. In other words, physical education aims at developing the child skillfully and makes him grow and develop physically, socially, mentally and emotionally through selected and well-programmed physical activities; thus influencing the child’s cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains positively.

The term sport can be defined as an institutionalized competitive activity that involves vigorous physical exertion or the use of complex physical skills. This is often undertaken by individuals who are motivated by either the intrinsic satisfaction with the activity itself or the external reward earned through participation (Igbanugo, 2003, citing Coakley, 1978).

For one to have a good quality and improved life, his or her health must be very paramount and cared for. World Health Organization (1948) defines health as the complete state of well-being of an individual physically, emotionally, mentally and socially without the absence of disease or infirmity. Some people would interpret this definition as being the quality of life and the way to achieve this is through personal cleanliness, physical activities and others.

Physical activity is described in physical education and sports by Angela Lumpkin (2010) as “all moments that can contribute to improved health”. Quality of life is determined differently for each individual. However, the two factors, happiness and faith are the ideal components that helps maintain good health that include physical activities, which enables a person to achieve the true quality of life.

Health care provides perceptions towards health promotion, which is important in achieving the aims of healthy people. Assessment of the physical education of students’ belief is an integral part of understanding current behaviour and conceptualization of strategies to measure the impact of it on the improvement of quality life.

The issue of quality life promotion is concerned with improvement in the health status of individuals and communities. By promoting the quality of life means improving the dimensions of it. Therefore, a fundamental aspect of quality of life promotion is that it aims to empower people of health advancing, supporting, encouraging, and placing it higher on personal and public agenda.

According to Ma Xin-dong (2011), life style change more than any other factor and this is considered to be the best way of preventing illness and early death in our society. The major causes of early death have shifted from infectious diseases to chronic lifestyle related conditions. Health lifestyles are critical to wellness. Each individual is different from all others’ health and wellness depends on each person’s individual characteristics.

Making comparisons to other people on specific individual characteristics may produce feeling of inadequacy that detracts from one’s profile of total health and wellness. The goal of this is to help all people to make personal lifetime lifestyle changes that promote health, fitness and wellness. Regular physical activity, sound nutrition and stress management are considered to be priority healthy quality lifestyle.

Ma Xin-dong (2011) also posited that children and youth are the future of the human beings. Children and youth’s fitness and wellness have important implications on their lifetime of health. However, the problem of children and youth’s health has become a global issue. In recent years, physical health status related with children and youth in many countries have suffered different degrees of decline.

Regular physical activity has important positive effects on the muscular, skeletal, cardio-vascular respiratory and endocrine systems. The effects of exercise on these systems are associated with a number of health benefits, including a decreased risk of premature mortality and reduced risks of coronary heart diseases, hypertension, colon cancer and diabetes mellitus. In addition, regular participation in physical activity also reduces depression and anxiety, improve one’s mood and enhance our quality of life.

Several observational and clinical studies suggested that physical activity substantially reduces the risk of dying, coronary heart diseases, stroke and colon cancer. It also helps to control weight and contributes to healthy bones, muscles and joints, reduces falls among older adults, helps to relieve the pains of arthritis, reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression and associated with fewer hospitalization, physician visits and medications use.

Worldwide, the World Health Organization (1998) estimates that over 60%of adults are not active enough to benefit their health. Moreover, physical activity declines significantly with age. It is generally higher among females and the overall inactivity trend is worse in poor than urban areas. In addition, there are racial and ethnic differences in physical activity rate, particularly among women.

Physicians and other health care professionals are recommending physical activity as an adjunct to more traditional therapy for a variety of physical and psychological disorders. It helps to lower the risk of early death, coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, impoverishment of bone health, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, falls, depression, poor cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness, decreased level of body fat; all these will help to improve quality of life through physical education and sports participation, hence the need for this study.