Determinación del grado de actividad física e intención de cambio en niñas y niños que participaron en las Escuelas Deportivas y Recreativas del Verano del 2005 de la Universidad de Costa Rica

  • Yamileth Chacón Araya Universidad de Costa Rica
  • José Moncada Jiménez Universidad de Costa Rica
Keywords: transtheoretical model, exercise, physical education, physical activity, sedentary, children


The aim of the study was to assess the levels of physical activity and potential for behavior change among children and youth who participated in a structured summer camp program in physical activity and sports at the University of Costa Rica. Participants were 113 subjects with an age range between 8 and 16 years. Subjects responded to a “Stages of Change” questionnaire, and also to items regarding habitual physical activity, and opportunities for becoming physically-active. Statistical analysis showed that 80.5% of the participants exercised regularly (i.e., for at least for three consecutive months). It was estimated that 50.4% of the participants did not have the opportunity to play outdoors without parental and/or legal supervision, and that about 91.2% considered important to exercise along with their parents. From the sample studied, it was found that 94.7% had consistently received only one or two formal Physical Education classes throughout their lives; which might impact their future physical and psychological health and their possibilities to achieve a desired exercise adherence. Only 67.3% of the participants were classified in a stage based on the Stages of Change Model for physical activity, with 55.8% from those belonging to the maintenance stage.

This is the first attempt to investigate the intention to change in Costa Rica children; however, the results from the present study are consistent with those reported in other countries. In conclusion, the Transtheoretical Model Behavior Change might be appropriate to detect disposition to change from detrimental behaviors towards a positive and healthy lifestyle in children and adolescents. Further research is needed to study moderator variables that might impact behavior changes in this population.

Author Biographies

Yamileth Chacón Araya, Universidad de Costa Rica

Graduada de la Maestría en Psicopedagogía en la Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED), Costa Rica. Obtuvo la Licenciatura en Educación Física de la Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR). Profesora de la Escuela de Educación Física y Deportes, de la Universidad de Costa Rica y coordinadora de Vida Estudiantil de esa unidad académica. Algunos artículos publicados: “Composición corporal de bailarines costarricenses de danza contemporánea”, ”El trabajo con cuerdas en los niños” en coautoría con Yamileth Chacón Araya. Además ha publicado sobre el tema de la creatividad de jóvenes universitarios.

José Moncada Jiménez, Universidad de Costa Rica

Es Magíster Scientiae (M.Sc.) en Ciencias del Movimiento con énfasis en Fisiología del Ejercicio de Springfield College, Massachusetts (USA). Actualmente cursa el programa del Doctorado en Ciencias en la Universidad de Costa Rica y ha realizado estudios de posgrado e investigación en The Ohio State University y en Auburn University (USA). Ha sido juez en el área de ciencias del ejercicio durante la Feria Científica del Estado de Ohio (USA), y ha recibido becas de investigación y estudios de posgrado del Gatorade Sports Science Institute, la Federación Internacional de Fútbol Asociado (FIFA), el International Center for Sports Studies (CIES), The University of Neuchâtel, la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA), y Ohio State University. Es docente en la Escuela de Educación Física y Deportes y en la Escuela de Medicina de la Universidad de Costa Rica. Fue instructor y asistente de investigación, medición y evaluación y estadística en Springfield College (USA). Actualmente es el director de Laboratorio de Ciencias del Movimiento Humano (LACIMOV) de la Escuela de Educación Física y Deportes de la Universidad de Costa Rica.


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How to Cite
Chacón Araya, Y., & Moncada Jiménez, J. (2006). Determinación del grado de actividad física e intención de cambio en niñas y niños que participaron en las Escuelas Deportivas y Recreativas del Verano del 2005 de la Universidad de Costa Rica. Revista Electrónica Educare, 9(2), 189-205.
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