Physical activity Engagement
All participants reflected good knowledge on the benefit and need of regular physical activity. It is said, physical activity helps to be healthy, control body weight, improve fitness, make brain active and improve academic achievement. However, only three students; two male and one female reported to have regular physical activity routine.
A 12th grade female student said “It is very important for health. Physical activity makes us active and inactivity will cause us get weight and even affect our brain functioning.”
A grade 12th male student said “Physical activity makes us active while inactivity reduce our capacity.”
Facilitators of Physical activity.
Facilitators of Physical activity are personal reasons like need to improve self-image, to be fit and healthy, and to improve performance in the club. Social reasons like friend modeling and family support are raised as facilitators of physical activity.
A 11th grade female student said “I do exercise for one hour every day and my reason is to be fit and healthy.”
A grade 12th male student said “I do exercise because I’m member of the Woreda basketball team. It helped me to stay in shape and keep my fitness. Being member of the team helped me to exercise regularly, I worked out every day.”
Barriers of physical activity
Different reasons are mentioned for not being physically active or play games. Social and personal factors (lack of role model, absence of family or friend influence, bad example, shortage of time, lack of interest and financial constraints)
A 12 grade male student said “No member of my family exercise and they did not ever tell me to go to gymnasium. I cannot go by myself because the payment is too much for my pocket money”
A 11 grade female student said “Most member of the gymnasium around our residence are not good examples and my family discourage it.”
Environmental (Lack of access to play ground, lack of access to gymnasium, lack of conducive environment, poor school environment, harsh (polluted) environment, not friendly (girls) environment, poor urban planning and developmental activities) are the main reasons.
An 11th grade male student said “In our village we do not have free play ground and we are forced to use the high school playground after 11 local time.”
A 12th grade male student said “I Never done regular exercise due to lack of conducive environment.”
A 12th grade male student said “People do not do exercise due to lack of interest and time shortage. Furthermore, Lack of facility and partner and trainer.”
A 11th grade female student said “I sometimes exercise. My reason for not doing regularly is lack of time. The weather condition is also tough (it is cold at the morning).”
12th grade female student said “the play area around our residence are occupied by the industries. The remaining few are polluted by the industry and household wastes. Let alone playing passing by is difficult.”
A 12th grade female student said “The playgrounds are far from our residence and are not friendly for girls; the play grounds are overcrowded by boys and it is not safe to go there.”
A 11th grade male student said “Playgrounds are not sufficient and most of them are converted to construction and industry site; There was a playground around our village but now it is fenced for construction.”
They are not doing physical exercise but also are engaged in risky behaviors due to lack of proper playground and gymnasium. Adolescents are playing in a less safe place, many become addicted for chat because they have nowhere to go.
A 11th grade male student said “Our youths are now addicted; many students now chew and smoke. If there was conducive environment no one would want to go to the unsafe environment.”
Different recommendations are given by the adolescents to improve the physical activity status. These includes, building girls friendly gymnasium and youth centers, make accessible play grounds and proper urban planning.
A grade 10th Male student said “Our government should work towards developing enough playgrounds and gymnasium and officials should be careful during planning for developmental activities and investments.”
A 9th grade female student said “All facilities should be girls friendly, we do not go out to play anything do to the less favorability of the environment. There should be a dedicated area for girls.”
A 12th grade male student said “Facilities for the youth to be engaged in regular physical activity and reduce sitting time should be opened at every Kebele.”
A 11th grade female student said “As much attention as the investment should be given to the health of the people and our government should work towards developing enough playgrounds and gymnasium in every Kebele.”