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Teachers' Perceptions about their Health and Physical Maintenance: Case of Two Universities in Pakistan.

Byline: Muhammad Badar Habib, Muhammad Shakir, Muhammad Zia ul Haq and Saeed Javed

Abstract

Purpose of the research is to examine the university teachers' health and physical activities regarding their academic competencies. Major objectives of the research were (a) to identify health problems of teachers at university level that affects academic competencies of university teachers and (b) to evaluate educational betterment through physical balance. This research is descriptive in nature and questionnaire was used as source of collecting data. Population of the present research comprised all the teachers and professionals of The Islamia University of Bahawalpur and Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan. Sample of the study was 580 university teachers selected from the population by using random sampling technique. In the light of the analysis of the study it was found that the university teachers in Pakistan do not adopt proper physical exercise program.

They were less interested to burn their extra calories and face diseases such as cramping, contraction of the muscles, diabetics and stomach diseases.

This study recommends that seminars/workshops may be held by University establishment; to develop overall awareness among the teachers.

Key Words: Physical maintenance, Academic competence, Anxiety, Depression

Introduction

The outcomes in the Health and Physical Education learning area are interrelated and all contribute to the development of healthy, active lifestyles for students. Teaching and learning programs developed by teachers should allow students to learn and achieve the essential knowledge, attitudes and values and skills in an integrated manner: for example, a physical activity program may include knowledge of a game, the development of attitudes such as fair play and respect for the rights of others, and movement skills. It will also include interpersonal skills such as communication and conflict resolution for refereeing and team communication, and decision-making skills for choice of tactics and strategies.

In a classroom context, a smoking education program might include essential knowledge about the effects of smoking, the development of values and the attitude that support the decision not to smoke and communication skills to cope with peer pressure to smoke. There are five outcomes which provide a framework for the kindergarten to year 12 curriculum in Health and Physical Education.

Learning is a two way process that depends upon teacher and student. This process may continue only and only if both the exponents will be mentally and physically fit. In developed countries such as U.S.A, England and Germany teacher's health programs are arranged and awareness is developed at all scales (Streiner et al. 2014). Reports published in these countries show concern of the society on physical education of teachers. According to Wieczorek and Grant (2000) positive effect on mental health that may be seen due to moderate exercises Through these exercises impact may be seen as; well-being, self-esteem and reduction of symptoms of anxiety and depression among professional teachers; who do strenuous mental and physical work in Universities. This review gives clear concept on the importance of physical exercises; as these exercises help to improve academic aspects of university teachers. Daily exercise is very important component of good health (Belza et al., 2004).

People who are regular in doing exercise and work are found more healthy and stable with balance personality. Different research studies explored that teachers teaching at university level remain busy in doing their work, teaching and sitting in front of their laptops, they exercise less. Regular physical exercise helps the teachers to manage their health problems related to stroke, syndrome, metabolic, cancer and arthritis (Taylor and Sirois, 1995). All these diseases attack silently but swiftly and cause professional uneasiness among the university teachers. Professionals have an important role to play in the promotion of daily exercise for better health. This exercise helps them to remain mentally and physically fit in order to perform their academic duties. Duties of teachers are to teach actively for the entire day and they can stay active only when their body is fit.

Aerobic type of work increases suitability and decrease depression while develop the sense of willingness. Psychomotor fatigue can be decreased preventing weight gain and maintaining healthy weight. It helps in reduction of blood pressure and cholesterol. It helps in improving self-esteem and self-confidence while decreasing the hazard of heart disease and certain type of cancer by increasing life expectancy (Marder et al. 2014). Empirically, it is quite clear from different source of data, it is indicated that both gender can get advantages from the excessive exercise. Substantial health welfares can be found by including a reasonable amount of physical activities. Through a modest improve excursive, most of the professionals and especially teachers in the university can improve their health and quality of their life style.

University teachers may join regular fitness centers to improve their health and physical maintenance. In partial nutritional activities can change the physical and mental abilities of person who have use sports equipment regularly hence some physical activities should be increase by university authority to promote teacher health and physical maintenance to improve their health (Keller, Ostbye and Goy, 2004).

It is quite obvious that teachers and professionals remain busy in their mental work and do not find time for body exercise. They continue to improve their mental faculties but their physical capacity gets bad to worst. If they are not physically well they will not be mentally well. Experts like Doe (2011), Hanson (2008) and Sachs (2007) are of the opinion that introduction of computer to the modern age have made us less active and sick. The major reason behind this inactivity according to these experts is lack of time in their busy schedule of exercise. You have gadgets now for which you do not have to move even an inch from your chair. This has made professional slack. Now a professional teacher in university does not have to move to bring book from the shelf or from the library. Now everything is at the distance of click that is internet facility that is running all the time.

Due to this university teacher and other professionals do not take exercise and try to meet up their goals without moving. This results in physical discrepancy and mental health as mental health depends upon physical movement. Physical exercise helps in the improvement of breathing and circulation of blood. Health digestion the food and controls the obesity in the body and improve rehabilitation of after energy of mind, muscles, bones, and joints (Pollock et al., 2000).

Objectives of the Study

Following were the objectives of the study: (a) to identify health problems of teachers at university level that affects academic competencies of university teachers (b) to evaluate educational betterment through physical balance.

Research Method

This research is descriptive in nature and questionnaire was used as source of collecting data. Population of the research was all the teachers of the Islamia University of Bahawalpur and Bahauddin Zakaria University Multan. 580 teachers from both universities were selected as a sample of the study. Questionnaires were distributed to the teachers working in two public sector universities. The research tool comprised 20 questions based on five points Likert scale. After developing research tool it was pilot tested initially on 10 teachers of the Islamia University of Bahawalpur and Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan. Finally, a panel of five experts from relevant department was chosen to ensure the face validity of the tool. In the light of the opinions of experts some items were deleted and some were added.

Data Analysis and Results

Researchers personally visited sample universities of Pakistan and collected data from the respondents. After collecting data, data were interred SPSS version 20 by using different statistical formulas. The data was interpreted and analyzed to reach the conclusions.

Table 1: Teachers' opinions about health maintenance

###Statements###S.A###A###D.A###SDA###U.D

###%###%###%###%###%

Health is important for better life.###91.5###8.5###0.0###0.0###0.0

Exercise provides relief after routine work###41.8###53.9###1.9###0.6###1.8

Being so busy in work I wish to go to the ground###21.2###58.7###15.9###1.2###3.0

Morning exercise gives me relief and freshness###50.9###41.9###1.8###0.6###4.8

I do my family chores in the morning###13.3###46.0###25.4###3.6###11.7

During Office hours body movement removes

body stress###23.8###53.9###16.9###2.4###3.0

Sitting posture on computer develops my belly###46.0###46.8###3.6###0.0###3.6

Feel mental stress due to less activity###52.7###41.3###3.6###1.2###1.2

Mental stress develops chronic diseases###39.3###56.5###2.4###0.0###1.8

Official duties make me tense and anxious###23.0###41.9###29###5.5###0.6

Mental stress is removed through physical exercise###67.4###24.6###1.3###4.2###2.5

Removal of stress brings better impact on

academic work###67.0###27.5###1.8###3.3###0.4

Achievement of goals brings mental relief###52.3###38.5###3.4###1.7###4.1

Physical exercise helps in forgetting professional

stress###50.9###41.4###2.2###3.5###2.0

Exercise relieves body pain###14.5###63.8###13.3###6.6###1.8

I get academic excellence through marinating

health###66.5###24.2###1.5###5.2###2.6

Physical fitness brings harmony with me###50.3###31.7###2.2###8.9###6.9

Physical fitness is compulsory for better health###63.0###28.6###0.9###4.5###3.0

I find better mental growth in physically fit

condition###80.0###17.6###1.2###1.1###0.1

Physical fitness and academic excellence work

together###77.3###20.5###0.8###0.9###0.5

Table 1 presents items wise analysis of data. According to table 100% respondents opined that health is important for better life. 95.7% respondents opined that exercise provides relief after routine work. 80% respondents being busy in work they wish to go to the ground. 92% respondents opined that morning exercise give relief and freshness. 59% respondents opined that they wish to do morning walk with their family. 77% respondents opined that during office hours body movement removes body stress. 95% respondents opined that sitting posture on computer develops their belly while 94% respondents feel mental stress due to less activity. Further data explore that 96% respondents opined that mental stress develops chronic disease and 65% respondents were of the opinion that official duties make them tense and anxious while 92% told that mental stress is removed through physical exercise. 96% of the respondents said that removal of stress brings better impact on academic work.

Data reveals that 91% respondents opined that achievement of goals brings mental relief, 92% physical exercise helps in forgetting professional stress, 78% respondents said exercise relieve body pain, and 91% respondents were of the view that through maintenance of health they achieve academic excellence. It is quite clear from the data that 82% respondents opined that physical fitness brings harmony with them while 92% respondents expressed that physical fitness is very important for better health, 98% respondents were found better mental growth in physically fit condition and 97% opined that physical fitness and academic excellence work together.

Discussion

As the main focus of the study was to investigate and measure university teachers' fitness. Majority of the national and international studies agreed that exercise is a source of excitement and play a positive role in stress reliving. Grants R.P., Pratt P, and Blair S., (2000) seems agree with the results of the study that most of people wish to exercise daily but due to laziness and lack time they could not exercise properly. On the basis of data analysis it is discussed that most of the sitting in chair deforms them and this causes a lot of other diseases in them. Hanson I., (2004) views that it is necessary for the teachers to adopt regular exercise schedule so that they may be able to cope up with their daily routine that is very strenuous and vigorous. Further data explored that most of the teachers feel tense while performing their official duties.

This shows that most the time teachers remain in tension while teaching classes. This shows that most the time teachers remain in tension while teaching classes.

Conclusions of the study

The study main focus was to evaluate the health and fitness of university teacher. It is concluded that people of all ages, both gender can get benefit from physical exercises. It is further concluded that most of the respondents strongly agreed that they feel relaxed after exercise and majority of them consider exercise as stress reliever and university teachers go to the ground for exercise but they remain busy and find no time to visit garden or parks for exercise. Most of the university teachers agreed that they feel freshness of air while it is further opined that small movement of their body in chair relieves them and keeps them fit for further work. On the basis of data analysis it is concluded that most of the sitting in chair deforms them and this causes a lot of other diseases in them.

It is necessary for the teachers to adopt regular exercise schedule so that they may be able to cope up with their daily routine that is very strenuous and vigorous. Inclusion of such activities in the lives of teachers may bring harmony in the life of university teachers that my cure fatal diseases and it may also save them indulging into pedagogical rot that will gallop their life slowly but gradually. Through a modest increase in daily exercise, most university teachers in Pakistan may improve their health, quality of life, mental capacity, sociability and professional competency. Further data explored that most of the teachers feel tense while performing their official duties. This shows that most the time teachers remain in tension while teaching classes.

Recommendations

Professionals should generate knowledge about health exercise. Establishment should maintain notice boards, leaflet racks, information points, and wellness handouts to sensitize university teachers about their health. The major reason that many professionals do not exercise is because of lack of time in their busy schedule. So time should be given to them. There should be a period of exercise in their time table. The university management should look into it that the teachers are given proper facilities for health fitness. Professionals should arrange intramural games and sports teams. Fitness labs for university teachers may be provided at university level. Seminars and symposium on physical fitness may be organized to maintain the academic competencies of teachers.

References

Belza, B., Walwick, J., Schwartz, S., LoGerfo, J., Shiu-Thornton, S., and Taylor, M. (2004). Older Adult Perspectives on Physical Activity and Exercise: Voices From Multiple Cultures. Preventing Chronic Disease, 1(4).

Best, J.W. and Kahn, J.V. (2006). Research in Education. (9thed.) India: Pearson

Cruickshank et al. (2009). The Act of Teaching. Published by McGraw Hill companies, Education, Inc.

Farooq, R. A. (1993). Education System in Pakistan: Issues and Problems, Asia Society for Promotion of Innovation and Reform in Education, Islamabad, Pakistan. pp. 8-9.

Government of Pakistan. (2002). Facts and Figures. Ministry of Education E .F. Wing, poor Islamabad, Pakistan.

Keller, H. H., Ostbye, T., and Goy, R. (2004). Nutritional risk predicts quality of life in elderly community-living Canadians. The Journals of Gerontology series A: Biological sciences and Medical sciences, 59(1), M68-M74

Marder, S. R., Essock, S. M., Miller, A. L., Buchanan, R. W., Casey, D. E., Davis, J. M., ... and Shon, S. (2014). Physical health monitoring of patients with schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry.mmental health. New York, USA.

Pollock, M. L., Franklin, B. A., Balady, G. J., Chaitman, B. L., Fleg, J. L., Fletcher, B. and Bazzarre, T. (2000). Resistance exercise in individuals with and without cardiovascular disease benefits, rationale, safety, and prescription an advisory from the committee on exercise, rehabilitation, and prevention, council on clinical cardiology, American Heart Association. Circulation, 101(7), 828-833.

Streiner, D. L., Norman, G. R., and Cairney, J. (2014). Health measurement scales: a practical guide to their development and use. Oxford university press.

Taylor, Shelley E., and Fuschia M. Sirois. Health psychology. New York: McGraw- Hill, 1995.

Wieczorek, K., and Grant, C. (2000). Teacher education and knowledge in" the knowledge society": the need for social moorings in our multicultural schools. The Teachers College Record, 102(5), 913-935.
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Author:Habib, Muhammad Badar; Shakir, Muhammad; Haq, Muhammad Zia ul; Javed, Saeed
Publication:Journal of Educational Research
Article Type:Case study
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Dec 31, 2015
Words:2927
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