Recently in Japan, there are much concern about disturbance of lifestyle habits and decrease of physical activity (PA) among children. Under such circumstances, school recess is an important time zone that children can play independently. The present study was therefore aimed to examine the living factors affecting independent PA in elementary school students during school recess. The study participants were 3rd grade to 6th grade 1,059 children (536 boys and 523 girls) attending 7 elementary schools. Research was conducted between October and November 2015. All the data were collected using an original non-anonymous questionnaire that asked about living conditions, independent PA in recesses, and other issues. As the results, the living and PA conditions of the subjects were mostly general. And, the significant relationships with independent PA in before-class recess were confirmed with “sex” (OR = 2.909, 95%CI = 2.094 - 4.042,) “wake-up time / intermediate group” (OR = 0.526, 95%CI = 0.353 - 0.782,) “wake-up time / late group” (OR = 0.247, 95%CI = 0.167 - 0.365,) “breakfast intake” (OR = 0.472, 95%CI = 0.242 - 0.921,) “screen time / intermediate group” (OR = 0.660, 95%CI = 0.451 - 0.965,) “screen time / long group” (OR = 0.399, 95%CI = 0.270 - 0.591,) “cram school” (OR = 1.713, 95%CI = 1.097 - 2.675,) and “sports lesson” (OR = 1.593, 95%CI = 1.023 - 2.480,) Similarly, “sex” (OR = 2.433, 95%CI = 1.783 - 3.320,) “grade” (OR = 0.699, 95%CI = 0.605 - 0.806,) “wake-up time / late group” (OR = 0.528, 95%CI = 0.369 - 0.756,) and “screen time / long group” (OR = 0.594, 95%CI = 0.409 - 0.863,) in morning recess and “sports lesson” (OR = 0.659, 95%CI = 0.440 - 0.986,) in lunch recess were extracted. From the above findings, we reached the conclusion that practice of sleep improvement and screen time control etc. were the necessary for promote independent PA of children during school recesses.
The importance of a preschool-to-primary education program has also been emphasized for overcoming the “Sho-1 problem”. In order to overcome the gap between the care-centered system in pre-school facilities and the education-centered system in schools, the cooperation between the two and the construction of Educare system are important. In this study, I examined the present situations and issues of the bridge program linking from pre-school to elementary school. A questionnaire survey was conducted in A city located in the suburbs of the metropolitan area, and responses from 192 facilities were analyzed.
It has become clear that there is a difference between the preschool facilities and the elementary school in the factors to be emphasized in the bridge program. In elementary schools there is a need for educational elements and for care before school. The improvement of the succession of individual cases is an issue, and it is indispensable to use various “children's space”, which are local resources in the neighborhood, considering the current workload among teachers and the distance between facilities. As there are few viewpoints of local resources utilization in elementary school compared with preschool facilities, we spread more proposals of concrete practice method including the possibility in future and increase local resources such as “whereabouts of child” more.
Our society, the Japanese Society of Health Education for Children, has been conducted international exchanges with discussions and practical workshops by teachers, professors, and young researchers since 1990s. In 2017, a special committee was established in the society in order to further enhance the international exchanges in the field of education. Herein, we look back on the results of our exchanges and describe our future prospects. We are developing human resources for further international collaboration of practical research on education for children’s health.