Methods Of Forming The Foundations Of Healthy Lifestyle In Primary School

Abstract

Factors affecting the formation and preservation of the foundations of students’ healthy lifestyle and the creation of a coherent educational space were identified: – socio-psychological (motivation of students for healthy lifestyle; conscious need to develop one’s views and beliefs on the lack of bad habits); – organizational-pedagogical (coherent health-saving educational space, healthy-saving infrastructure of educational organization, integrated approach to the formation and preservation of health within the educational process); – medico-physiological (motion state; health activities; day regimen, organization of the educational process, means and methods of education, organization of physical education, etc.); – risk factors that adversely affect the formation and preservation of students’ health (intensification of the educational process and hypodynamics; stressful situations at school and in a family; non-conformity of training programs and technologies and hygienic requirements with the educational process; disadvantages in the existing physical education system; insufficient qualification of teachers and educators for health preservation activities). Pedagogical conditions for the formation and preservation of the foundations of healthy lifestyle in primary school were identified, which are based on the methodology for the formation of foundations of healthy lifestyle of younger schoolchildren. A set of measures was proposed to assess the impact of the experiment on the formation and preservation of the foundations of healthy lifestyle of younger schoolchildren.

Keywords: Motor activityschool agepedagogical conditionshealthy habitslifestyle

Introduction

The search for new theoretical approaches and practical solutions to the problem of forming the foundations of healthy lifestyle is caused by a number of circumstances:

  • first, the features of the period that the country is passing through, when modern economic and sociocultural conditions aggravated the health problem of the entire population, but this is especially typical for students of educational institutions;

  • second, insufficient preparation of graduates of educational institutions for life in the society, the presence of health problems, which makes it difficult for students to socialize in modern sociocultural conditions;

  • third, insufficient development of the theory and practice of pedagogical guidance in the formation and preservation of the health of students at educational institutions.

“One of the modern tasks of primary education is to preserve and promote the health of children. The school shall provide a student with the opportunity to maintain health during school years, to form the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities according to healthy lifestyle, to teach a student to use this knowledge in everyday life” ( Abdulmanova, 2009, p. 181). The Federal State Educational Standard (FSES) of the second generation identifies this as a priority. The result of this task shall be the creation of a comfortable developing educational environment.

According to FSES, this concept is defined as an educational space: guaranteeing the protection and strengthening of physical, psychological, spiritual and social health of students. It is this educational space that is comfortable for both students and teachers.

The health of children of the primary school age in any society in all socio-economic and political situations is a pressing issue and a priority since it defines the future of the country, the nation’s gene pool, the scientific and economic potential of the society, and along with other demographic indicators serves a sensitive barometer of socio-economic development of the country.

There is no single unique health technology. Health saving can act as one of the tasks of the educational process. Only through an integrated approach to learning can the tasks of forming and improving the health of schoolchildren be successfully achieved.

The system of measures to promote healthy and safe lifestyles is presented in the standard in the form of five interrelated directions:

  • healthy and efficient infrastructure;

  • rational educational and extracurricular activities of students;

  • effective physical and recreational work;

  • educational program and educational work with parents.

A teacher shall rationally organize the educational and extracurricular activities of students thus reducing excessive functional tension and fatigue, creating conditions to avoid overloads, life/work balance. It is necessary to comply with hygienic standards and requirements for organization and volume of educational and extracurricular load (performing homework, classes in clubs and sports sections) of students at all stages of education. There is a need to use training methods and techniques appropriate to age capabilities and characteristics of students (use of tested methods); to introduce any innovation in the educational process only under the supervision of specialists; to ensure strict compliance with all requirements for the use of technical training tools, including computers; to promote individualization of education (taking into account individual characteristics of development: pace of development and pace of activity), to work on individual programs of primary general education; to provide systematic work with children with poor health and children with disabilities attending special health groups under strict supervision of health workers; to organize dynamic changes, physical exercises during classes contributing to emotional relief and increase of motor activity.

It is necessary to organize joint work of teachers with parents through sports competitions, days of health, classes on the prevention of bad habits.

Healthy educational environment is essential for the formation of a harmoniously developed personality. It is only possible to ensure comprehensive health preservation and promotion, health training, development of health culture, learning of its spiritual-moral, aesthetic, physical components when such environment (health climate, culture of trust, personality-rising) is created at schools.

The aspects of health formation and preservation hold an important place in scientific and pedagogical literature. The main fundamental issues related to human health are revealed in the works of ( Babansky, 1989; Babkina, 2013; Bazarny, 2008).

In modern sociocultural conditions there is a need to take better measures to preserve and improve the health of primary schoolchildren, which is driven by the modernization of education on the one hand and the continuing deterioration of school health on the other. Recently, the younger generation has been affected by adverse environmental, social and economic stress factors.

There is a contradiction between the actual state of health of students and the lack of readiness of educational institutions to form and maintain their health.

Problem Statement

The contradiction triggers the problem , which is to define pedagogical conditions for the formation and preservation of the foundations of healthy lifestyle of younger schoolchildren.

Research Questions

Insufficient theoretical development of the problem and practical need determined the choice of the topic of the study: Methods of forming the foundations of healthy lifestyle in primary school.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to develop methods for forming the foundations of healthy lifestyle in primary school.

The following tasks were set to achieve the purpose of the study.

  • To analyze the state of health of younger schoolchildren.

  • To determine the role of physical exercises and motor activity in forming the foundations of healthy lifestyle.

  • To develop and experimentally justify the methods of forming the foundations of healthy lifestyle in primary school.

Research Methods

The study was carried out in the 2019 academic year at the Secondary School No. 7 in Maikop. Students of the 4 A and 4 B classes, which in total makes 55 people including 25 girls and 30 boys participated in the experiment. The children were trained according to the traditional system of education with extended motion regime – in addition to two classes of physical training and one class of rhythmic gymnastics per week, after classes all children had 2 dancing classes 2 times a week. In their school schedule, the physical education class was the fourth and was held on Monday and Saturday.

The methodology of dancing classes in the 4th grade is based on various elements:

  • Formation, bow – 2 minutes;

  • Warm-up circle-wise – 5 minutes;

  • Dancing elements – 15 minutes: skip jumping, running, gopak, body bending, tapping, step-gallop;

  • Performing elements of modern dance – 15 minutes;

  • Flexibility and stretching exercises – 8 minutes.

Thus, the students master the correct movement techniques, i.e. learn to perform exercises in right direction, rhythm and tempo, with the appropriate muscle tension. The 4th grade students already master combinations of different dancing elements, which later form an entire dance.

The method of integrated assessment of healthy-saving educational process includes the following:

  • individual and group talks;

  • questionnaires on lifestyle, school motivation, leisure activity;

  • questionnaires on the level of students’ knowledge, skills and abilities in the field of healthy lifestyle;

  • survey of school medical staff on the health status of children (based on medical records);

  • algorithms to process test and survey results;

  • questionnaire for parents on the state of health.

Findings

Recently, fast degradation of students’ health has become increasingly obvious. The schools are developing following the path of intensifying and increasing physical and mental loads on children. The schoolchildren with health problems find it difficult to study. Only healthy children are able to properly acquire their knowledge and do efficient and useful work in the future. The prevention of childhood diseases is a cost-effective national investment, more economical and efficient than expensive treatment. Therefore, the problem of preserving the health of students and teaching them skills and basics of healthy lifestyle is quite relevant today. The modernization of the educational system requires the introduction of a fundamentally new approach to learning, which shall be integrated into the day-to-day school activities and form the basis for the entire educational process. In accordance with the above, we developed a set of methods of forming the foundations of healthy lifestyle in primary school ( Antropova et al., 1999).

Health Knowledge method

Purpose: to study the level of health and healthy lifestyle awareness of young schoolchildren.

Procedure: students are asked to complete the questionnaire marking with “+” those answers that, according to them, are the most accurate (one, several or all).

The study revealed that 40 % children with low level of health awareness, which indicates weak understanding of health preservation and support. 24 % of children showed the average level with fragmentary knowledge of healthy lifestyle and health in general, the answers were insufficiently informed and complete. 26 % of younger schoolchildren demonstrated the acceptable level of health knowledge, and they know well the issues of health maintenance, their knowledge is conscious and complete. The high level, which is characterized by the necessary volume and depth of knowledge and perception of healthy lifestyle and health, is observed only in 10 % of children (Figure 01 ).

Figure 1: Awareness of health and healthy lifestyle in primary school
Awareness of health and healthy lifestyle in primary school
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My Health method

Purpose: to determine the range of healthy lifestyle skills and abilities.

Procedure: students are asked to underline the most correct answer from the suggested options.

During data processing, a qualitative analysis of the results is carried out. The formation of healthy lifestyle skills and abilities is judged by the nature of student choices. Most preferred are those which indicate high health-saving activity of a child. The experiment revealed that 43 % of students have low health-saving activity, 32 % – average and 25 % – high health-saving activity (Figure 02 ).

Figure 2: Health-saving activity in primary school
Health-saving activity in primary school
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Hygiene Skills method

Purpose: to determine the degree of formation of hygiene skills in primary school (on the example of hand washing).

Procedure: before students go for lunch to the canteen, the teacher reminds the children: “Don’t forget to wash your hands”. During the week the teacher monitors the quality of each child’s hygienic procedure according to the following indicators: use of soap, washing not only palms, but also the back surface of hands, wiping hands with a towel (napkin) dry.

On the basis of the quality of activity according to the method of hygienic skills it can be concluded that the degree of expression and formation of hygienic behavior in younger schoolchildren is high.

System of Values method

Purpose: to identify the place of health in the system of values in primary school.

Procedure: students are asked to rank the suggested values based on their personal importance.

Figure 3: System of values in primary school
System of values in primary school
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Based on student responses regarding the system of values it was found that 46 % of children chose health that included no disease and good mood (Figure 03 ). Well-being in the family, where the main components are love, mutual understanding, wealth is marked by 47 % of younger schoolchildren, happiness of others was chosen by 45 % of children, for whom good relations between people, care for beloved ones, surrounding people and other values are important. The beauty of nature, art (experience of the beautiful) was observed in 44 % of children of primary school age. Data processing and analysis of ranking results revealed the place of health in the system of values in primary school.

Moral Health method

Purpose: to assess the level of moral health in primary school.

Procedure: students are asked to complete the questionnaire.

Data processing counts the number of responses “often”, “sometimes”, “never”. If the most frequent answers were “often”, a child has high level of moral health. The answers “often”, “sometimes” with “often” prevailing indicate the acceptable level. If the majority of answers is “often” and “sometimes” with some “never” answers – average level. If the majority of answers is “never”, this indicates the low level of moral health.

Figure 4: Level of moral health in primary school
Level of moral health in primary school
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The results of the survey show that 10 % of students have low level of moral health, 31 % – medium level, 34 % – acceptable level and 25 % – high level (Figure 04 ).

The results show that children of primary school age do not have sufficient knowledge of the basics of health and healthy lifestyle. They need to be gradually formed. The following rule shall form the basis for healthy lifestyle: it is better to know and be able to do less than to have superficial knowledge on many issues related to health improvement.

The process of forming the foundations of healthy lifestyle was divided into several blocks.

In order to give children a momentum for healthy self-education, it is advisable to ensure their insight into the necessary minimum knowledge about the structure and functions of the human body, i.e. to help children to know themselves, to teach self-reflection.

The block of classes that introduces the structure and functions of the body is called Know Your Body .

Purpose: to develop the desire for knowledge and improvement of the body.

Tasks:

  • to develop basic concepts of the structure and functions of children’s organism;

  • to enrich the child’s vocabulary with terms from the field of anatomy and human physiology;

  • to teach the simplest methods of assessing their physical development.

Knowledge : concepts of health, healthy lifestyle, healthy and sick organism; growth factors (rational nutrition, motor activity, etc.); compassion as a virtue.

Skills : to tell about the structure of your body, to fill in an individual “health passport”; to determine the level of physical development (height, body weight, chest circumference, etc.) with the help of a teacher.

Activities :

  • Conversation “Good to be healthy”.

  • Workshop “How to become Gulliver”.

  • Game “The Road to Healthy Heart”.

Since at this age the process of acquiring knowledge is the most efficient during practical activity, we introduced a “Health Passport” for every child. There we reflect the following: growth, body weight, diseases, frequency of cold-related diseases.

Once the children got familiar with the structure of the body, we shifted to the main elements of healthy lifestyle: personal hygiene, day regimen, rational nutrition, optimal motor regime.

Before introducing this block of classes, we asked children about their bad habits, day regimen, personal hygiene. The survey revealed that 57 % of children followed the personal hygiene rules and 42 % of children have the optimal day regimen (Figure 05 ).

Figure 5: Key elements of healthy lifestyle in primary school
Key elements of healthy lifestyle in primary school
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According to the results, it is necessary to introduce the next block of classes The Road to Health ;

Purpose : to increase children’s experience of health preservation, to introduce them to healthy lifestyle.

Tasks :

  • to deepen knowledge on personal hygiene rules;

  • to develop hygiene skills;

  • to form a need to maintain the purity of the body;

  • to develop the need to comply with day regimen;

  • to create healthy environment at school and in family.

Knowledge : basic rules of personal hygiene, personal hygiene products, optimum day regimen, diet, food hygiene, cleanliness and generosity as a virtue.

Skills : to be able to properly brush the teeth, keep your body clean, comply with the day regimen, observe the culture of nutrition, maintain order in your room, class.

Activities :

  • Game program “Be healthy!”

  • Homeroom “Moidodyr comes for a visit”.

  • Case study “Magic Brush”.

  • Homeroom “From morning till night”.

By active engagement into this block of classes, children learned how to take care of their health, about the need to maintain healthy lifestyle. After the end of the block of classes we conducted a questionnaire. The results revealed that having learned how to take care of their health the children gradually begin to adhere to the necessary foundations of healthy lifestyle.

The next block of classes is aimed at forming the health culture. Before the beginning of classes, we diagnosed the existing health culture. For this purpose, we used the System of Values and Moral Health methods.

Purpose : to identify the place of health in the system of values and to assess the level of moral health in primary school.

Figure 6: Diagnosis of health culture in primary school
Diagnosis of health culture in primary school
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From the results of the diagnosis it is clear that health is not the priority, health in the system of values was chosen by 28 % of children, and moral health – by 36 % of younger schoolchildren (Figure 06 ). Therefore, an important feature is the formation of motivation for the basics of healthy lifestyle since early childhood. Children understand that helping others, living in peace with people around them is necessary, but moral health is poorly formed. This needs to be worked on ( Abramov & Rybalko, 2008).

The next block of classes, which is called The Lessons of Doono , is devoted to this problem.

Purpose : to develop the insights into the moral aspect of health, to engage children into valeological culture.

Tasks :

  • to increase children’s understanding of health;

  • to provide insight into valeological culture;

  • to encourage activities aimed at the preservation of their health and the health of others.

Knowledge :

  • healthy environment;

  • behavior during illness;

  • positive relations between people – conditions of their health;

  • health as a personal and universal value.

Skills:

  • to take care of their health and that of others;

  • to create a healthy environment (clean, positive, sympathetic, etc.).

Activities:

  • Five minutes of experts “Clues for dunnos”.

  • Gathering talk “What is the dearest”.

  • Class “Two doctors”.

  • Workshop “If mom is sick”.

  • Auction “In the land of Nod”.

Movements are beneficial for the activities of all physiological systems of a child, they also develop intelligence, increase immunity and reserve capabilities of the body. However, it is important not to simply use movements, it is necessary to train the correctness of their execution taking into account age. Therefore, the next block of classes is aimed at the development of motor skills and is called Movement is Life .

Purpose : to develop healthy lifestyle.

Tasks :

  • to involve children in regular physical exercises;

  • to promote meaningful motor activity;

  • to create conditions for the development of motor skills;

  • to deepen knowledge of the motor regime.

Knowledge:

  • motor activity;

  • morning gymnastics;

  • sports sections;

  • posture;

  • beauty of movements;

  • strength, motor regime.

Skills:

  • to perform morning gymnastics;

  • to participate in games and sports events;

  • to mitigate fatigue and to relieve stress;

  • to ensure the break for physical exercises during mental work.

Activities:

  • Morning gymnastics.

  • Health days.

  • Fun class break.

  • Active games after classes and during breaks.

A set of corrigent gymnastics exercises in recitative was used during physical education classes and during dynamic breaks to preserve posture. Physical “minute” and games were used to form the posture in classes, which strengthened the stereotype on the correct posture. Various sports events (school sports day, sports holidays, etc.) were held to form motor activity.

The expansion of visual and motor activity was ensured by physical exercises for eyes with the help of Bazarny’s (2008) Merry Small Men simulator (cards schematically showing people performing various physical exercises). The size of the image is 2 cm. Children repeat the exercises of a small man. Besides, exercises for eye muscles training were used in the class.

Starting from the primary school it is necessary to form a negative attitude to bad habits. Therefore, another block of classes is called Away, Health Kidnappers .

Purpose : to form an idea of bad habits.

Tasks :

  • to increase knowledge of bad habits that destroy health;

  • to cultivate the sense of responsibility for their actions, for their health.

Knowledge:

  • healthy lifestyle;

  • alcohol and tobacco destroy health;

  • habit of biting nails;

  • responsibility as a virtue.

Skills:

  • to tell about bad habits;

  • to refuse offers to try smoking;

  • to tell about the harm of biting nails.

Activities:

  • Talk “Unpleasant story”.

  • Class “Everyone shall know this”.

  • Talk “How to defeat bad habits”.

  • Exercise “Health is in your hands”.

One of the most frequent reasons for students to miss school classes is the cold. Thus, we introduced students and their parents to simple cold training exercises. If the weather allows, physical education classes and dynamic breaks are held in the open air. Cold training is not only healthy, but also fosters willpower and determination of a child. We managed to achieve considerable results in forming the foundations of healthy lifestyle by exposing children of primary school age to regular health exercises, through cold training in physical education classes.

Conclusion

It shall be noted that the study resulted in the following:

  • Factors affecting the formation and preservation of the foundations of healthy lifestyle of students were identified and a coherent educational space was created:

    • socio-psychological (motivation of students for healthy lifestyle; conscious need to develop one’s views and beliefs on the lack of bad habits);

    • organizational-pedagogical (coherent health-saving educational space, healthy-saving infrastructure of educational organization, integrated approach to the formation and preservation of health within the educational process);

    • medico-physiological (motion state; health activities; day regimen, organization of the educational process, means and methods of education, organization of physical education, etc.);

risk factors that adversely affect the formation and preservation of students’ health (intensification of the educational process and hypodynamics; stressful situations at school and in a family; non-conformity of training programs and technologies and hygienic requirements with the educational process; disadvantages in the existing physical education system; insufficient qualification of teachers and educators for health preservation activities).

  • 2. Pedagogical conditions for the formation and preservation of the foundations of healthy lifestyle in primary school were identified, which are based on the methodology for the formation of foundations of healthy lifestyle of younger schoolchildren.

  • 3. A set of measures was proposed to assess the impact of the experiment on the formation and preservation of the foundations of healthy lifestyle of younger schoolchildren.

References

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

31.10.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.10.05.244

Online ISSN

2357-1330