Children’s Perspectives of Healthy Living

Publication Type:
Journal Article
The International Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society, 2014, 4 (2), pp. 15 - 28 (14)
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This study explored children’s perspectives of healthy lifestyles. There is a lack of research conducted focusing on children’s thoughts and opinions from a high socio-demographic background. Utilising a qualitative study method guided by a phenomenological approach, a purposeful sample of nine participants completed a questionnaire, interview, and personal health journal. The main themes to emerge from the data included healthy living being associated with sporting activities and consuming healthy foods. All children were aware that a "balanced" diet and not "over eating" are important aspects of maintaining health. All but a few of the students could identify and explain the key "personal health choices" content within the local health education syllabus. A common theme to emerge was the expressed desire by students to slow down, relax, and not feel so busy through engagement in numerous extra-curricular activities. This study highlighted the importance of listening to children’s voices through the process of qualitative research. It is vital that teachers, health practitioners, programmers, policymakers, and researchers hear from, and report, from a child’s point of view when attempting to better understand and communicate awareness of relevant health issues. By listening to children’s perspectives of health, it will hopefully enable society to take effective action on child health in ways that are meaningful to them.
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