THE IMPORTANCE OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY The way children spend their leisure time has changed over…

THE IMPORTANCE OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY The way children spend their leisure time has changed over time. Electronic entertainment represents one of the indoors activities, which takes up to 7.5 hours a day of children’s free time (Hofferth & Curtin, 2003). In the last decade, the use of electronic devices increased dramatically. Even though the time dedicated to watching television is still significant, we are now witnessing the increase of usage of other media (Hofferth & Sandberg, 2001). It is alarming that this way of life leads to the increase of chronic diseases. It is significant to emphasise that this happens despite the high level of children’s participation in organised physical activities. A lot of children practise different sports, but it might be possible they are not aware of the relevance of physical activities. Therefore, they can’t form healthy habits in the right way. In our research, we decided to consider parents whose children attend primary school as our target group because the period of the primary school is vital for children’s personality development. Furthermore, it enabled us to examine how physical activities are combined with school responsibilities since parents often have the tendency believe that the school results and the level of physical activities are conflicting. In other words, they think the more time children dedicate to physical activities, the poorer results they will achieve at school (Inspiring Children’s Physical Activity: Exploratory Research with Parents, 2003). This shows us why it is important to explain to parents that this is a mistake and physical activity, in fact, has a positive impact on different aspects of a child’s life, even on the development of their intellectual skills and on school results presently, as well as in the future. The beginning of primary school (between six and eight years) represents the crucial period for the development of physical capabilities (Dauer & Pangrazi, 1989, Fox, 2009) during which children form habits related to physical activity and nutrition (Jago et al., 2005). It has been proven that the habits formed during childhood stay present during adulthood as well (Malina, 1996; Twisk et al., 2000). Consequently, the acquisition of healthy habits in the early childhood has had a tremendous significance and impact on children’s health in the present, as well as in the future. Adequate participation in physical activities during childhood and adolescent period represents the key factor for keeping good health in the long term (Trost, 2010) Having in mind broad prevalence of physical inactivity and constant spreading of the obesity problem (Ogden et al., 2008), the promotion of regular activity among the youth has become the top priority of health organisations worldwide. Establishment of healthy behaviour in the early childhood constitutes a pivotal role for future habits and activities. Encouraging physical activity, especially outdoor, could be the key factor in the struggle against health risks caused by modern lifestyle. Parents have the possibility to influence the children’s behaviour, and they have a pivotal role in encouraging their physical activity (Brockman et al., 2009). The research have shown that this encouragements, together with parents’ logistical support (providing resources and equipment for the activities, driving or accompanying their children to the venue where the activity is taking place), has the major impact on the children’s level of activity (Davison et al., 2003; Hennessy et al., 2010; Jago et al., 2010). Bearing in mind the increase of problems with overweight and obesity, the extent to which parents influence their children’s habits concerning nutrition, physical activity and passive ways of spending free time (watching television, using computers, etc.) became the issue of special interest (Pocock et al., 2010). However, we have to be aware of the factors that limit the possibility to take part in different activities. Some of the factors parents identified as limiting were lack of time (Hesketh et al., 2005: Mitchell et al., 2011), lack of resources and excessive costs (Mitchell et al., 2011; Smith, 2005). security, violent peers, as well as the peers’ pressure to sedentary activities (such as watching television and computer usage), lack of adequate program opportunities and offers (Smith, 2005) and a great distance to the venue of the training (Hesketh et al., 2005). Parents’ experiences show that these obstacles make difficult or even impossible for them to involve their children in different activities Since the sedentary way life has become more and more prominent in the modern life, we can notice the increase of its consequences on health and other aspects of children’s personality. It is important to point out these consequences continue later on in life because the habits acquired in childhood continue in the mature age as well. That is one of the main reasons why we decided to focus on the physical activity in our research. Understanding the social and environmental factors that influence physical activity play vital role in developing effective measures and initiatives for increasing the level of children’s and adolescent’s activity. On the one hand, our results could encourage parents to pay more attention to this topic and help them to get a broader insight into its importance. At the same time, these results can also be beneficial to schools, relevant ministries, and organisations when it comes to starting different initiatives. They could help them create innovative programs and focus on the key matters revealed during the research. 3. METHODOLOGY AND RESEARCH 3.1. Conjoint analysis Our goal was to determine which factor is the most important between different types of training, as well as which combination of characteristics is the most appealing one for parents. To be able to answer these questions, we used Conjoint analysis, which reveals respondents’ preferences through the simulation of the real problem of choice. The previously mentioned term was introduced in 1978 by Green and Srinivasan. However, there isn’t a clear-cut definition of this term, but several are provided. Hair (Hair et al., 1998.) defined it in his paper saying that ‘Conjoint analysis is a multivariate technique used specifically to understand how respondents develop preferences for products or services. It is based on the simple premise consumers evaluate the value of a product or service by combining the separate amounts of value provided by each attribute. Sudman and Blair (1998) pointed out that it must be regarded as a type of thought experiment’ designed to show how various elements of products or services (price, brand, style) predict customer preferences for a product or service The central assumption of the decomposition approach is that consumers evaluate overall utility of product/services combining part-worth utilities of various levels for each attribute which describe a certain product. Those partial utilities are defined as numeric values that show the level of appeal of different characteristics of product/services. When a consumer chooses between different products, they don’t observe only one isolated characteristic, but they make their decision by observing (perceiving) and analysing its characteristics all at once. The name of the method comes from that fact – CONsidered JOINTI (Kuzmanovic, 2006) The researcher defines some key attributes of the analysed entity. Then he needs to choose several different levels, variation for each attribute. Each combination of the different levels of attributes forms one profile or concept (Kuzmanovic, 2006).

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