Many different health issues are the consequence of our sedentary life styles, as we spend the majority of our time sitting and we do not stretch enough. Everyday errands require certain physical endurance, which we have difficulties in maintaining, due to a fast life styles. In addition to already established sport programmes in primary schools and regular sport activities in children’s free time there are different initiatives, such us: 'minute for health' and 'active school break' (School curriculum for sport, 2011). These initiatives do not regulate the exact manner of how the exercises should be done, therefore we can perform them as a morning stretching exercises.
Consequently, the question emerges, whether regular morning stretching exercises influence the attention and the feeling of well-being of the pupils. To find the answer to this question was my masters dissertation goal. We wanted to discover, if there are any differences in the level of attention and a feeling of well-being amongst the pupils in control groups in comparison to the experimental group performing the morning stretching exercises. We also wanted to measure the time required to start the class after the teacher gave a vocal sign that the class has begun, after the stretching exercises were completed.
The masters dissertation is branched in to theoretical and empirical part. In the theoretical part we have first described the characteristics of the child in his middle childhood looking at emotional, social, cognitive, physical and locomotional aspects. Next, we have turned the focus to more sport themes and established the locomotional and stretching exercises. In the last section, we have described the concept of attention and described the factors, which influence the feeling of pupils well-being.
In the research 56 pupils attending 5th grade of Bovec and Kobarid primary school were included. The pupils were divided in experimental and the control group. The experimental group was performing the morning stretching exercises every day before the start of the classes for a month. With the test, measuring their attention and the feeling of well-being, the impact of stretching exercises on pupils was evaluated. To properly address the differences between the groups the contingency tables were used and hi2 was calculated.
The findings have shown, that there were no differences between pupils when measuring their attention. In the experimental group only the feeling of well-being changed, as pupils felt less negative feeling, such as: “I feel scared”, “I fell worried” and “I am nervous”. We have also established differences in feeling of well-being in pupils comparing the experimental and control group, when pupils were evaluated “I am in the bad mood”, “I am tired”, “I have difficulties in sitting still” and “I want to be alone”. The time between vocal sign to start the class and the actual start of the class could not be calculated, due to improper time measuring methods.