The primary rationale for FitSchool is the need to increase aerobic physical activity levels in children in early years of primary school (the key developmental period).
Secondly, the programme is aligned with the current technological shift taking place within the education system.
Systematic moderate to medium intensity exercise leads to improved cardiorespiratory fitness, which significantly reduces the risk of developing many lifestyle diseases, including cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular fitness is considered one of the most important indicators of health, even more important than the commonly accepted indicators such as body mass index, blood pressure or cholesterol levels (Blair, 2009). According to the WHO, ischaemic heart disease (also referred to as coronary heart disease) is the most common cause of death worldwide.
Technological change has been very dynamic, in particular since 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Modern IT technologies are increasingly present in schools and kindergartens, which makes the educational process more interesting for students who achieve much better learning outcomes thanks to technology-aided learning. Labs and libraries with modern equipment are being established in educational institutions of all types, including schools in rural areas. Computers with network access are used to teach computer science, mathematics, and foreign languages. Internet applications for group work make it possible to deliver remote classes. However, technological innovations have not yet significantly changed the form and delivery of physical education. Physical education classes and other types of physical activities, sports and recreational activities are offered to children in an less attractive form that engages the teacher in a traditional way. FitSchool has been created to change this.
Improve cardiorespiratory fitness by increasing the level of moderate to medium intensity exercise (aerobic exercise) contributing to reducing risk of lifestyle diseases.
Increase strength of the muscular core to promote a correct posture - reduce the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders.
Improve kinaesthesia (proprioception) to improve hand-eye coordination.
Improve motor skills by introducing more general fitness exercises to improve motor capabilities and reduce risk of injury.
Improve children's knowledge of the relationship between exercise and health; develop an attitude of personal responsibility for one's own health.
Increase the capabilities of P.E. teachers to enable them to act as health mentors.
Improve the image of P.E. teaching as an important profession that shapes the health awareness and competences of young people.
Improve the competence of parents in the field of parenting for health.
THE PROGRAMMES TARGET GROUP:
P.E. teachers, early childhood teachers and pre-school teachers.
Children aged 6 - 9 years, i.e., students in grades 0 to 3 of pre-schools and primary schools.
Promote the adaptation of infrastructures in schools
to include technologies capable of introducing new forms of exercise in the school environment.
Promote changes in how P.E. is organised
In order to ensure the key health needs of school children are met.
Promote the role of P.E. teachers
in pre-schools and primary schools.
Implementation of innovative ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) tools for teachers
through the FitSchool platform.
Comprehensive and complementary in one solution: combining a range of tools to support schools and families in managing children's physical activity.
High quality and user-friendly solution.
Credibility: the solutions and content provided on the platform are evidence-based and backed by research, users can feel safe using the platform.
Support from the academic community.
On-going development of the content (database of workout sessions and activities, online training, educational materials).