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BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 785.
Published online Sep 14, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1471-2458-12-785
PMCID: PMC3490845
Barriers, facilitators and preferences for the physical activity of school children. Rationale and methods of a mixed study
María Martínez-Andrés,1 Úrsula García-López,1 Myriam Gutiérrez-Zornoza,2 Beatriz Rodríguez-Martín,3 María Jesús Pardo-Guijarro,4 Mairena Sánchez-López,5 Eugenio Cortés-Ramírez,4 and Vicente Martínez-Vizcaínocorresponding author1,6
1Centro de Estudios Sociosanitarios, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Cuenca, España
2Facultad de Trabajo Social, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Cuenca, España
3Facultad de Terapia Ocupacional, Logopedia y Enfermería, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Talavera de la Reina, Toledo, España
4Facultad de Educación, Universidad de Castilla- La Mancha, Cuenca, España
5Facultad de Educación, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real, España
6Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Edificio Melchor Cano, Centro de Estudios Socio-Sanitarios, Santa Teresa Jornet s/n, Cuenca 16071, España
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
María Martínez-Andrés: Maria.MartinezAndres/at/; Úrsula García-López: Ursula.Garcia/at/; Myriam Gutiérrez-Zornoza: Myriam.Gutierrez/at/; Beatriz Rodríguez-Martín: Beatriz.RMartin/at/; María Jesús Pardo-Guijarro: MariaJesus.Pardo/at/; Mairena Sánchez-López: Mairena.Sanchez/at/; Eugenio Cortés-Ramírez: EugenioE.Cortes/at/; Vicente Martínez-Vizcaíno: Vicente.Martinez/at/
Received July 24, 2012; Accepted August 30, 2012.
Physical activity interventions in schools environment seem to have shown some effectiveness in the control of the current obesity epidemic in children. However the complexity of behaviors and the diversity of influences related to this problem suggest that we urgently need new lines of insight about how to support comprehensive population strategies of intervention. The aim of this study was to know the perceptions of the children from Cuenca, about their environmental barriers, facilitators and preferences for physical activity.
We used a mixed-method design by combining two qualitative methods (analysis of individual drawings and focus groups) together with the quantitative measurement of physical activity through accelerometers, in a theoretical sample of 121 children aged 9 and 11 years of schools in the province of Cuenca, Spain.
Mixed-method study is an appropriate strategy to know the perceptions of children about barriers and facilitators for physical activity, using both qualitative methods for a deeply understanding of their points of view, and quantitative methods for triangulate the discourse of participants with empirical data. We consider that this is an innovative approach that could provide knowledges for the development of more effective interventions to prevent childhood overweight.
Keywords: Built environment, School, Obesity, Social environment, Physical activity, Mixed-method study, Focus groups, Barriers, Health behavior
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