National Public Health Conference
Spine Experts Conference in Budapest, Hotel Flamenco, 2004
Prevention program in physical education in schools – action of the Hungarian Government: „National Public Health Program”
Somhegyi A. (1), Tóth J. (2), Gardi Zs (3), Makszin I (4), Varga P.P.(5);
(1) Ministry of Health, Budapest, Hungary; (2) Réthy Pál Hospital, Orthopedic Department, Békéscsaba, Hungary; (3)Association of Hungarian Physiotherapists, Budapest, Hungary; (4) Semmelweis University, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Budapest, Hungary; (5) National Center of Spinal Diseases, Budapest, Hungary.
PURPOSE: The „National Public Health Program” was launched by the Hungarian Government in 2001. This includes beside others a prevention program for school-children, in which teachers of physical education are taught posture correcting exercises, so that they use them regularly in physical education, to automize and maintain the correct posture of all school children. To show efficacy of regularly made posture correcting exercises, a controlled study was made in school-year 2001/2002 in Békéscsaba.
RELEVANCE: The special exercises focusing on the correct position of the pelvis and on the proper muscle balance, were developed by the Association of Hungarian Physiotherapists. The prevention program is supported by the Ministry of Health since 1995, leader of the prevention program is the Hungarian Spine Society. Till 2004. January 7772 teachers of physical education from 3715 schools and kindergartens have learned the preventive exercises, and 51.475 muscle tests of 32.831 children show, that only 11 % of tested children had correct muscle balance (www.gerinces.hu).
SUBJECTS: The exercise material is based on 12, muscle-testing exercises, to show if postural muscles are short or weak. These muscle tests were done in 418 school-children, from which 201 regularly made posture correcting exercises in physical education, the other 217 school-children took part in physical education without posture correcting exercises. METHODS AND MATERIALS: In each child 12 test-exercises of postural muscles were done by an independent physiotherapist twice in the school-year 2001/2002; two teachers of physical education made posture correcting exercises with children in the test group as part of usual physical education, one teacher of physical education was doing usual program in physical education without posture correcting exercises.
ANALYSES: Data were collected by testing physiotherapist, after computer-assisted summarization khi square test was done.
RESULTS: 187 (97 %) of children doing postural exercises showed improvement in their muscle-status, while only 83 (38 %) improved in control group. The improvement according to regularly applied postural exercises used in physical education for school-children was significant (p less than 0,01).
CONCLUSION: The Hungarian initiative to reduce risks of sedentary lifestyle in childhood with a general settling available for all children is quite unique as it bases on teachers of physical education. Target setting of the prevention program - to apply posture correcting exercises in physical education in all schools - prooved to be correct.