Postprint of: Hyndman, B 2015, 'Looking beyond the classroom walls: an insight for teachers of primary and secondary students' perceptions to enhance the school physical activity environment ', Values into Action: A Brighter Future: Edited Proceedings of the 29th ACHPER International Conference, Adelaide, SA, 13-15 April, ACHPER, Kent Town, SA, pp. 89-101. ISBN: 9780994175236
With an increasing focus on schools to facilitate physical activity, there is more demand than ever for teachers to equip children with the necessary skills to be physically active. Gaining an understanding of students' perceptions could help teachers promote increased physical activity levels among school students. The purpose of this paper was to explore primary and secondary students' of features to enhance the school physical activity environment. Four government schools (two primary and two secondary) in the western region of Victoria were recruited for the study. Focus groups and map drawing were used to gain a broad understanding of primary and secondary students' perceptions for enhancing the school physical activity environment. During this study, 78 students from four government schools (two primary and two secondary) were recruited with students aged 10 to 13 years. The focus group discussions consisted of 54 students (32 primary and 22 secondary) and the map drawing sessions included 24 students (17 primary and 7 secondary). Gender-specific perceptions of the school physical activity environment will also be discussed. Currently, many school facilities are implemented by adults. Listening to students' perspectives of the features that could enhance school physical activity environments may assist in developing strategies to reduce the time students spend engaged in sedentary behaviours and to promote healthy, active students. The features identified in this paper provide important information for teachers and school decision makers to consider when targeting children's physical activity within the school environment.