Sports Health Education Instructional Program at the University of Jeddah

Subject: Education
Pages: 5
Words: 9926
Reading time:
38 min
Study level: PhD

Physical activity is widely recognized as one of the major ways of promoting good health. Active people are less likely to get ill when compared to those who are less active. Research has shown that physical inactivity is directly related to conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, coronary diseases, among other illnesses (Reiner, Niermann, Jekauc, &Woll 2013). Despite the awareness of the risks involved, many people across the world still do not engage in sufficient physical exercise.

This implies that the risk of falling sick is very high among many people. It is thus important that healthcare stakeholders design interventions to address the problem and avert the inevitable illnesses related to a sedentary lifestyle (Murphy et al., 2017). One way to encourage physical activity is incorporating sports health education into the curricula of colleges and institutions of higher learning. This is because students in colleges and institutions of higher learning are among the most inactive section of the population (Murphy et al., 2017).

The goal of the Saudi Arabian government to improve healthcare among the population is hampered by physical inactivity (Al Hazzaa, 2004; Aljaaly, 2016). Many factors contribute to this phenomenon. The first factors are economic growth where technology and development in the economy reduce the need for human effort, making people less active. For example, many people drive, use lifts, and spend a lot of time on their phones and computers (Dima-Cozma, Gavrilută, Mitrea, & Cojocaru,2014).

The other factors are education, where students have little time to engage in physical activity and spend most of their time studying and preparing for exams (Kohl & Cook, 2013). To realize the goal of improving healthcare and preventing diseases related to physical inactivity, it is important to introduce sports health educational programs in institutions of higher learning. This study will evaluate the appropriateness of integrating such a program at the University of Jeddah.

Using a Concurrent Triangulation research method, the study will examine the relationship between reduced physical activity and illnesses, the preparedness of the university to manage the program, and the barriers to establishing a sports health educational program.

Research Topic

Over the years, colleges and higher education institutions have promoted sport health activities. The University of Jeddah is one of the institutions that is incorporating sports health education instructional programs. Participating in sports health improves lifestyles and teamwork in colleges and institutions of higher learning (Alahmed, Yusof & Shah, 2016). Many institutions of higher learning integrate the sports health programs in their academic curriculum to improve the confidence levels and cognitive abilities of students (Casebolt, Chiang, Melton, Statesboro, &Russell,2017).

Students usually experience declining sports participation during college and university times between the age of 18 and 24 (Fahad et al., 2017). As a result, sports health education programs need to be integrated into the syllabi of colleges and universities in Saudi Arabia. Approximately 58 % of the students in Saudi Arabia have been shown to be physically inactive, and different barriers account for this inactivity (Alfhaid, Alzahrani, Almansour & Alghamd, 2017, Awadalla, Aboelyazed, Khalil, Gabaalla&Mahfouz, 2015).

Many obstacles account for the failure of students to engage in physical exercises. Students in colleges and higher institutions of learning have much classwork and many examinations. Also, the economic growth in Saudi Arabia contributes to physical inability. This declining physical activity participation comes with health challenges like the prevalence of chronic conditions (Ahmad et al., 2018).

University students continue to participate at low rate in sports health activities. Male students, however, remain more active than female students in Saudi Arabia colleges (Fagarasa, Radub, & Vanvuc, 2015). The lack of participation in sports health activities raised the concern for sports health education instructional programs at the University of Jeddah.

Background of the Study

The increasing number of cases associated with many diseases among the population led to the promotion of the sport health programs in institutions to change people’s lifestyles (Almutairi et al., 2018). With the focus of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 on health and fitness, people’s attitudes towards physical exercises are changing. The percentage of individuals participating in physical exercises and activities has increased (Eye of Riyadh, 2018).

The prevalence of diseases like cancer, diabetes, chronic conditions, and obesity in Saudi Arabia raised the concern of the need to have participation programs at the university. Failure to participate in physical activities and exercises contribute to 9% of premature deaths (Al-Hazzaa, 2018). Thus, the increasing number of diseases requires a thorough study of the relation between individuals’ involvement in physical activities and their health status.

The economic growth in Saudi Arabia is among the factors limiting physical activity. Urbanization reduces the exposure of the population to physical exercises (Al-Hazzaa, 2018). The proposed study intends to explore how culture and gender influence physical inactivity and associated outcomes (Sharara, Akik, Ghattas & Obermeyer, 2018). These unexplored aspects and the adverse health outcomes of being physically inactive are the foundation for this study.

Physical inactivity remains a big issue for the health of the in Saudi Arabia population (Alahmed & Lobelo, 2019). Therefore, different bodies are looking for possible ways of dealing with the inactivity in sports and other health-promoting activities among the Saudi Arabian population. This concern raised the need to offer sports health education instructional programs to college and university students in Saudi Arabia.

The problem substantially relates to recent economic growth, education systems that do not allow students time to participate in sports, and cultural and gender barriers. The problem affects the entire population; however, the brunt of the impact is felt by the younger generation.

Physical inactivity remains an active driver of premature deaths in Saudi Arabia (Al-Hazzaa, 2018). Many studies have examined the reasons behind the declining trends of physical activity participation. Studies in previous periods explained how physical activity promotes the health of the population (Al-Hazzaa & AlMarzooqi,2018).

Among the contributing factors is that females remain less active than males in sports health. Physical inactivity is the fourth risk factor, and it affects 58.8% of the Saudi Arabian population (Alahmeda & Lobelo, 2018). More than 30 % of the Saudi Arabian population is obese, and the cause is the physical inactivity among the youth (Samara, Andersen, & Arja, 2019). Also, current investigations show that girls have the right to participate in health sports programs and form a part of their education (Human Rights Watch, 2017; McKernan, 2017).

Increases in diabetes and other chronic diseases led to the analysis of the policies related to incorporating health education programs in institutions (Alharbi, Alotaibi, & Lusignan, 2016). There is a great need to understand how the introduction of sports health education will improve the health of the population and reduce spending on healthcare. Thus, it is very appealing to conduct further research to understand the relationship between sports health education and the gametal health of the population.

Problem Statement

Over the years, the number of cases of diseases resulting from inactivity in physical practice has increased in Saudi Arabia. Diseases like cancer, diabetes, and other chronic conditions are on the rise in Saudi Arabia (Al-Hazzaa, 2018). The primary cause of such conditions among the population is decreased participation in physical activities (Al-Hazzaa, 2018). Different factors contribute to people’s failure to get involved in sports, which continuously affects the health of individuals.

The primary contributors to fewer physical exercises are economic growth and the education system (Ahmad et al., 2018). Although policies in Saudi Arabia have changed in favor of sports education in schools and institutions, physical sports inactivity still contributes to 9% of premature deaths (Al-Hazzaa, 2018). Therefore, more efforts to integrate sports health education in colleges and universities remain viable.

Health issues associated with the rising occurrence of chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses decrease the quality of life among the population of Saudi Arabia. The participation in positive health-related activities represents a potential for preventing the widespread occurrence of health complications and improving the overall health of the population. As mentioned by Mahmoud, Al-Zalabani, and Abdulrahman (2016), public health initiatives have been consistently integrated into the sphere of education to facilitate the understanding of the existing limitations in health and well-being.

Although educational policies in the country have changed in favor of including sports education at institutions, the lack of physical activity among young people still represents a significant challenge to the sphere of healthcare. Therefore, the current study explores the effectiveness of integrating a sports health education instructional program into the curriculum for female students at the University of Jeddah.

Theoretical or Conceptual Framework

Different theories usually found in related literature will be used to explain the relevancy and the relation between the sports health education and student’s health. One of these approaches is the cognitive learning theory, which explains the learning of students by internal forces (Hicks, 2017). Therefore, introducing sports health education into the curriculum allows students to learn it quickly and ably. Also, the cognitive development theory will aid in understanding the topic. According to this approach, children’s cognition develops through interaction with others (Wellsby & Pexman, 2014).

Therefore, the concept needs to be integrated into Saudi Arabian schools and institutions to improve students’ cognitive development capacity (Anastasia, 2018). Other theories, like behaviorism theory, will also explain the topic. This approach emphasizes that a student learns in response to the surrounding environment (Zhou & Brown, 2017). Therefore, if sports health education becomes part of the curriculum, students may change their behaviors by responding to their environments.

Finally, the social cognitive learning theory is also crucial in explaining the introduction of sports health education instructional programs at Jeddah University. This approach emphasizes learning through social interaction. Also, it explores self-monitoring, self-regulation, and self-judgment that allows students to make decisions (Tougas et al., 2015). These educational learning theories will explain well the theoretical framework of the study. They will make the topic understandable and unfold why the problem is essential for research.

Study Purpose

The purpose of the proposed study is to explore how the introduction of a sports health education instructional program at Jeddah University will reduce the prevalence of diseases. It will further examine the willingness of lecturers to include sports health education in the curriculum at Jeddah University. More so, the study will explore the possibilities of a successful implementation of sports health education instructional programs.

Research Questions

The main research question to be answered in the study – is Jeddah University willing to include a sports health education instructional program in the curriculum? What are the thoughts and experiences of students and faculty participating in the integration of the sports health education instructional program into the curriculum for female students at Jeddah University in Saudi Arabia? The supporting sub-questions are:

  • R1 Are the faculty well equipped to provide sufficient health education to female Jeddah University students?
  • R2 Does Jeddah University provide enough resources to facilitate the integration of the sports health education program into the curriculum for female students?
  • R3 What barriers may prevent the implementation of the sports health education instructional program as a compulsory discipline for female students?
  • R4 What are the benefits of the implementation of the sports education instructional program as a compulsory discipline for female students?

Study Methodology

The instrument will allow collecting two types of data – qualitative and quantitative, through the survey’s open-ended and close-ended questions, and the survey will have four sections. Close-ended questions will help test the hypothesis, while open-ended questions will provide more insight into the issue and application of the program for female students (Adams-Budde, Howard, Jolliff, & Myers, 2014). The validity will be checked using Cronbach’s Alpha for the close-ended question (Briggs et al., 2008).

Rationale for the Methodology

The research methodology that would be useful in collecting relevant data for the study will need to be a mixed methodology. This will involve the use of both the primary data collected and analyzed through qualitative data modeling. There will also be the use of secondary data that will be informative in addressing the research questions in the quantitative research-modeling framework. There is a need to have a triangulation method so that different perspectives are used to explain the outcome of the study from a dynamic perspective concept and compare with the controlled group (Flick, 2018).

The Sports Health Instruction program may have different impacts on people; hence they need to have a personal contribution to the research outcome through a questionnaire. A comparison of the two outcomes would help in giving accurate conclusions and recommendations. The exploratory study model will be useful in unearthing any perception element that cannot be captured through a literature review on existing studies (Creswell, 2009).

The chosen methodology for this research is a triangular mix method study, which involves surveys with open-ended and close-ended questions. The concurrent triangulation is a method, was selected because it aligns the qualitative and quantitative analysis, which correlates with the exploratory design of this research. The aim of this study is on a population of young people studying at the University of Jeddah, as well as the capabilities and willingness of staff members to incorporate this program into the curriculum.

Therefore, the population includes female students of Jeddah University and four faculty members. Additionally, the personnel of the institution is also recruited to participate and provide insight into how a health education program focused on physical activity can be incorporated in the curriculum.

The process used to select and collect data on the sample for this research will include distributing the survey to 113 female participants and four faculty members, analyzing data using SPSS software, examining the qualitative data, and aligning the two perspectives to answer the study questions. Hence, the research approach to this study of the health education program is explanatory, and to answer the research questions, open-ended and close-ended survey questions will be used.

Definitions of Terms

Health: Health refers to a state where a person is physically and mentally well (Svalastog, Donev, Kristoffersen, & Gajović, 2017). It is simply not the absence of disease. Physical wellbeing is when the body of a person is free from injury or disease, and the person is in good health condition. Mental wellbeing is when the brain is stable and functioning properly with a manageable level of stress. A person can be free from disease but still be unhealthy due to the state of the body.

For example, if a person has too much body fat, the person is termed to be unhealthy. This is because body fat is a potential catalyst for disease (Müller & Geisler, 2017). Similarly, people who cannot complete tasks quickly due to running out of breath are unhealthy despite not having a diagnosis of any disease (Smoliga, Mohseni, Berwager, & Hegedus, 2016). A healthy person should function normally and enjoy a fulfilling life.

Disease: A disease is a disorder in the structural makeup of a person and affects the normal functions of the body (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018). Diseases are specific in their causative agents and the symptoms associated with them. Diseases are caused by agents such as bacteria, viruses, physical injury, and other factors. A sick person does not function normally and experiences discomfort and pain. In the contemporary world, there is an increase in the number of people experiencing lifestyle diseases. These are diseases that arise from the routine lifestyle of a person.

For example, lack of physical exercise and eating too much junk food results in obesity, which is a lifestyle disease (Müller & Geisler, 2017). Diseases are treated with medication, therapy, or surgery. Prevention, however, is the best way to avoid diseases. Lifestyle diseases can be prevented by being physically active, taking healthy foods, and avoiding behaviour such as smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol (Elwood et al., 2013.; Mosconi et al., 2018).

Physical activity: This is the body movement that requires the use of energy. Physical activity is beneficial to the body as it strengthens the muscles and joints (McGuire & Beerman, 2016). It also ensures that a person maintains good body weight. Aerobic activity is beneficial to the lungs, the heart, and many other muscles because it builds the capacity to pump blood appropriately and utilize oxygen in metabolism (Patel et al., 2017). People are encouraged to get physically active. It does not necessarily mean going to the gym every day or joining a sports club. Simple activities such as walking and taking the stairs constitute physical activity.

Health promotion: It is the act of ensuring that there are good health practices within the set area. The key stakeholders work hand in hand with the educators to ensure that they lead a healthy life. It involves varied campaigns that help improve the way people live every day in society (Sparks, 2013). The idea is to help educate people on the need to lead a healthy living standard in every step of life. Involves giving directions and approvals on the correct way to handle health-related dilemmas. The contributions of health promotion make it possible to analyse the necessary aspects of life in society

Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Study

Physical activity is critical in maintaining good health. It helps prevent lifestyle diseases and enables a person to enjoy the fullness and wellbeing of a healthy life. However, it is difficult for students pursuing higher education to get physically active due to the demands of their education. It is therefore, important to introduce sports health education instructional programs to promote physical activity (Çiçek, 2018; Quennerstedt, 2019). The proposed study will establish whether it is viable to implement such a program by using the case of Jeddah University. The next chapters will look into the literature regarding physical activity and health in relation to students pursuing higher education.

Literature Review

Introduction to the Chapter and Background to the Problem

Exploring the way in which higher education institutions have promoted activities related to sports health is the key objective of the current study. The rising number of cases associated with the disease among the student population requires such institutions to facilitate the improvement of health and fitness.

As mentioned by Al-Hazzaa and AlMarzooqi (2018), the prevalence of such chronic conditions as diabetes, cancer, and obesity increases the concern for the health of the population and contributes to the decrease in the quality of life as well as premature deaths. Thus, the current study is focused on raising the question about the importance of health education as well as how colleges in Saudi Arabia can improve the health of their students and encourage them to engage in health-promoting activities.

The chapter pertaining to the literature review is targeted at exploring the range of research associated with the importance of promoting active lifestyles among students. In the Saudi Arabian context, the problem is essential to consider despite the fact that the government has changed policies to enable sports education in schools and other educational institutions. It is expected to find a defined need in the literature to integrate sports education into the everyday learning of students as well as the work of teachers.

Theoretical Foundation

The cognitive learning theory represents the critical theoretical foundation for the current study. It provides an explanation for various mental processes and how they were influenced by multiple external and internal processes that facilitate the learning of individuals. Since physical education pedagogy has predominantly seen been as drill-style teaching, limited attention has been given to the integration of theoretical educational models that support practical, pedagogical approaches (Usher, Edwards, & de Meyrick, 2015).

More cognitive involvement of students in physical education and sports is needed to strengthen the capabilities of pedagogical approaches and ensure effective critical and creative thinking among students. The cognitive learning theory is thus applied to the current study because it also considers the social aspect of learning, and in the educational context, the social interactions between students in sports can alter the behaviors of learners as a result of exposure to new experiences. Therefore, the social component of learning will represent the critical basis for exploring the integration of sports health education in the context of the University of Jeddah.

Review of Literature

This section will be dedicated to the exploration of research conducted on the subject of integrating sports education into the curriculum of institutions. It is essential to understand the Saudi Arabian context of this study to evaluate the efforts of the government targeted at improving sports education at schools and universities. Sports education as a curriculum approach was studied from the perspective of research conducted in different educational contexts.

The Saudi Arabian Context

In place of confining health education processes the method to prevent premature deaths and diseases among the population, the concept of health education should be explored. Understanding the context within which this study is conducted is of importance because it offers a perspective as to the existing issues as well as methods intended for their elimination. The health resources that facilitate a good quality of life can manifest themselves in different ways, which is why researchers have dedicated their studies to exploring the integration of health education into the curriculum (Quennerstedt, 2018).

In the context of Saudi Arabia, health education has gained tremendous attention from researchers due to the declining health of the young population. As mentioned by Al-Hashem (2016), health education has been gaining importance in the country since the late 1900s as a response to the rising health concerns of the population, including young people. The 1980s were particularly successful for the healthcare sector of the country due to the boost in the constructions of hospitals and primary health care centers.

Activities in health education have steadily increased between 1985 and the late 1990s (Al-Hashem, 2016). In 1997, health education was seen in a much more positive light by both public and professionals, with the media coverage dedicating more time to the issue. In terms of the relatively modern developments, initiatives targeted at promoting more exceptional educational skills were introduced from 2007 onwards, with the Ministry of Health facilitating the prevention of chronic conditions through education.

In 2013, the National Committee of Health Education was founded alongside the Charitable Society for Health Communication to oversee the country-wide educational strategies targeted at health promotion and disease prevention (Al-Hashem, 2016). At this time, health educators in the country can work with the Ministry of Health, the private, public, and academic sectors to facilitate the development of health associations.

Overall, Saudi Arabia is integrating considerable effort into the integration of sports education into the curriculum as well as promoting the overall healthy behaviors among the population. In Saudi Arabia, health education has transformed into a profession that requires continuous training and development to address the future challenges of the health care sphere.

Healthy Physical Education

Reiner, M., Niermann, C., Jekauc, D., & Woll, A. (2013). Long-term health benefits of physical activity–a systematic review of longitudinal studies. BMC public health, 13(1), 813.

The article by Reiner and colleagues aims at establishing the long-term benefits of physical activities through a systematic study of 15 longitudinal studies. Specifically, the report argues that physical activity reduces the risks of diseases like type 2 diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease that raise the costs for health systems.

Therefore, the authors’ review summarizes existing evidence on the relationship between health issues like obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and dementia and physical activity in the long term (Reiner, Niermann, Jekauc & Woll, 2013). The authors use fifteen longitudinal studies that have at least a five-year follow-up period. There are above 500 participants in each of the longitudinal studies and 288,724 participants in total. The subjects between the age of eighteen and eighty-five identified through digital databases.

The authors study four publications with 17329 individuals, which evaluated the effect of physical activity on obesity and weight gain. Additionally, the article evaluates five publications with 84647 subjects to study the effect of physical activities on type 2 diabetes mellitus. Moreover, the study involves the study of six reports involving 15006 individuals to assess the impact of physical activity on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and six publications with 134188 subjects investigating the effect of physical activity on coronary heart diseases. The maximum follow-up on the subjects was between six to sixty years.

The study establishes the following results. The overall studies indicate a negative correlation between obesity or weight gain and physical activity. Precisely, the subjects who reduced their daily physical activity levels gained some weight while those who increased the physical activity lost weight. Those who maintained the same level of activity had their weight constant (Reiner, Niermann, Jekauc & Woll, 2013).

Generally, most studies indicated a negative correlation between the occurrence of coronary heart diseases and physical activity. The authors demonstrate the negative relationship by showing the link between weight gain and associated heart diseases. An increase in the level of physical activity attributes to reduced coronary heart disease risks.

Furthermore, the study reports a negative relationship between the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease with physical activity. Physically active people are at lower chances of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus and cognitive impairment (Reiner, Niermann, Jekauc & Woll, 2013). Conclusively, the results from the reviewed studies support my research because it provides an overall view of the relationship between physical activity and the incidences of health issues. The study indicates that physical activity is an essential factor that prevents the occurrence of health risk factors.

Dima-Cozma, C., Gavrilută, C., Mitrea, G., & Cojocaru, D. C. (2014). The importance of healthy lifestyle in modern society: a medical, social and spiritual perspective. European Journal of Science and Theology, 10(3), 111-120.

The study by Corina and colleagues takes a medical, social, and spiritual perspective to show the importance of a healthy lifestyle in modern society. The article begins by defining the term lifestyle and the relevance of the concept of contemporary society. Corina et al. argue that lifestyle is an indicator of one’s quality of life, social integration, and levels of satisfaction in consumer needs or social status. Additionally, the article states that lifestyle medicine offers vital information regarding physical activity, stress control, nutrition, and social support systems (Dima-Cozma, Gavrilută, Mitrea & Cojocaru, 2014).

Physical activity in the section refers to training both aerobic and anaerobic at a mild and vigorous intensity. Therefore, the authors state that in a modern society riddled with lifestyle diseases, people must make efforts to understand physical activity as an aspect of both well-being and building health.

The article further defines a healthy lifestyle using a spiritual and social anthropological approach. Specifically, the authors argue that from the past centuries, humans have been concerned about the origin of lifestyle because the notion is present in legends and stories. A healthy diet, exercise, movement rest, sleep, and stress management are some of the physical activities that have been present over time and illustrate the human way to unite with natural rhythms as it was the case for aboriginal tribes (Dima-Cozma, Gavrilută, Mitrea & Cojocaru, 2014).

According to the article, the current view of a healthy lifestyle now falls within the definition and current practice due to the accessibility of many social groups and excessive advocacy on the same. Furthermore, the article defines a lifestyle from a medical perspective, discusses the importance of curative and preventive medicine, and discusses the current guidelines for the prevention of cardio-metabolic diseases.

In supporting their study, the authors cite the European directives Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice. The guidelines provide various recommendations for individuals in different risk categories and different age groups, mainly focusing on people with metabolic syndrome. In conclusion, the article is essential to my research because it provides specific recommendations regarding the levels of physical activity that physicians should encourage among their patients. Additionally, the report argues that in healthy individuals, cardio-vascular fitness and physical activity significantly reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Aljaaly, E. A. (2016). Physical activities of young girls in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Arab Journal of Nutrition and Exercise (AJNE), 122-130.

Research article Aljaaly measures physical activity among young girls in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The author begins by stating that physical activities do not exist in Saudi girls’ curriculum and that physical activity in public schools is prohibited. The author cites previous research to support his claims and the importance of meeting physical activity guidelines for children between 5 and 17 years. Many of the studies that back Aljaaly’s research have shown the advantages of regular physical activity to behavioral and health outcomes for adolescents (Aljaaly, 2016).

Additionally, risk factors increased blood lipids cholesterol, hypertension, and overweight status are with physical inactivity. Unfortunately, about 71% of children and adolescents in Saudi fail to meet the recommended minimal weekly medium to vigorous physical activity required for the effective functioning of the cardiovascular system.

Physical activities are prohibited in school, and physical education sessions for girls is not permitted because it is contrary to social and cultural norms. Furthermore, inactivity is also a result of factors like television viewing as well as computer and TV games. Lastly, the article attributes the physical inactivity to the Abaya, the female dress code for Saudi girls as it limits available options and outdoor activities (Aljaaly, 2016).

The research survey includes 1519 subjects between 13 and 18 years. The study also included eighteen schools to assess the physical activities for girls in intermediate and high school levels. The study relies on the WHO 1995 stipulations for the classification of BMI by gender and age, which is also stratified into BMI categories as overweight and underweight.

The survey questions address the participant’s views and performance of physical activity where measures are derived from self-completed forms. Results show that most of the girls use cars as the primary transportation method; school physical activities mostly involve walking during break times. These results, therefore, show that most children and adolescents, particularly girls, do not engage in enough physical activities to keep them healthy (Aljaaly, 2016).

The results emphasize that there is a need for decision-makers to protect young girls by providing an environment that will improve girls’ operations at school. The study is vital for my research because it reinforces the notion that educational classes, including physical education, should be incorporated in school programs to enhance the knowledge and perception of the importance of physical activities.

Preserving Health Through Physical Education

The tendency towards a decrease in physical activity and a deterioration in the physical condition of students, which has been observed in recent decades, does research aimed at identifying the physical performance of modern schoolchildren at various stages of age-related development relevant.

The level of physical performance is an important quantitative criterion for human health, allowing to judge about its adaptive capabilities, the results of preparation for labor and sports. Since performance is an integral characteristic that reflects the totality of the body’s working capabilities, it cannot be measured using any single test.

From the point of view of muscular energy, the results of individual functional tests give only limited information either about power, or about capacity, or the effectiveness of each of the energy supply sources and therefore do not allow people to judge performance in the entire range of available physical loads. It is important to emphasize that these bioenergy criteria themselves can be represented by a large number of physiological and biochemical variables.

Although the main causes can be traced to religious doctrines, experts claim that the local culture and traditions are primary reasons for the given discrimination (Choi, 2011). In addition, the cultural basis of a community plays a major role in determining the implementation practices of sports classes in Saudi Arabia (Wang & Ha, 2008). Thus, both cultures and traditions are one of the critical influencing factors that prevent accessible sports classes for girls.

Furthermore, gender differences among boys and girls can be vital in determining the overall attitudes towards PE. It is important to note the fact that girls tend to be more sensitive to the aims of PE, whereas boys are inclined to be more aggressive and competitive (Tannehill & Zakraisek, 1993). There are also significant differences in the general preference among boys and girls. 78% of males prefer team-based sports rather than individual or solo sports (Rice, 1988). Therefore, gender variations must be considered in order to construct effective sports classes.

Lastly, it is crucial to allocate the correct amount of time and prioritize the PE classes. The largest portion of the time given for PE classes is not spent on actual implication and practice of skills (Fletcher, Lyon, Fuchs, & Barnes, 2007). The given study shows that inefficient time usage during sports classes can be one of the primary reasons for the lack of appeal of PE. In addition, there is an issue of prioritizing sports classes, because several schools might regard PE as unimportant.

This can lead to PE becoming highly dispensable class, which can be easily replaced by more “important” classes, such as math and science (Meqdad, 2009). The given prioritization problem can lead discouragement among PE teachers, which will further facilitate the perception of the PE being less relevant.

Preserving the health of the nation, health saving, healthy lifestyle – this is the range of issues that are discussed and excite the society, especially in modern times. The state of ecology, constant stress caused by transformations in all sectors of the economy, is a whole complex of causes that harm the health of every person and nation as a whole. Concern over the health status of the population in this country, especially of children, is one of the issues discussed at the level of the government, departments, and ministries responsible for social and medical services for citizens.

Sports Education as a Curriculum Approach

Sports education as a curriculum approach has been a priority for different educational institutions. As mentioned by Farias, Valerio, and Mesquita (2018), the teaching and learning of games and activities based on sports have represented an important form of health education curricula. There is substantial evidence suggesting that the model supporting engagement in sports can benefit the emergence of positive social goals as well as healthy sports behaviors. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to implementing physical education sports techniques (Kirk, 2013).

Consequently, physical education programs should consider the various abilities of students to execute their motor skills according to circumstances and various situations in regards to the game and sports-related activities. Therefore, most studies on encouraging sports education focused on the competency and participation of students and their involvement with sports (Araújo, Mesquita, Hastie, & Pereira, 2016).

However, Farias et al. (2016) pointed out that despite the positive results of integrating sports education into the curriculum, the prolonged proposal for embedding this aspect of education has not yet been unequivocally established. The reasons for this gap in integration are varied; for example, studies have found the lack of student improvement when games and exercises are implemented (Mahedero, Calderón, Arias, Hastie, & Guarino, 2015).

Another reason for the ineffective integration of physical activities into the educational curriculum is the lack of validated conceptual frameworks to facilitate game-based pedagogies. Namely, the potential for transferring sports education across the curriculum relies on the level of preparedness of educational facilities to address the needs of their students regarding sports training (Farias et al., 2018).

The aspect of participation plays an integral role in the integration of sports education into the curriculum. As mentioned by Farias et al. (2018), the participation of learners in consecutive seasons of sports of the same type and that require similar skills can enable the transfer of long-term performance and strengthen students’ capabilities in sustaining healthy behaviors through playing games.

However, when developing programs that aim to positively influence students’ fitness, special considerations should be given to the design of the tasks (Haible et al., 2019). Instructors play important roles in this area because they can conduct regular assessments of their students’ progress and work on developing programs that will be the most beneficial for sustaining the effectiveness of students in the maintenance of positive sports behaviors (Haible et al., 2019).

When studying the implementation of programs promoting sports health education in educational facilities, researchers have reported differences between the actual and expected program outcomes (Darlingron, Violon, & Jourdan, 2018). The successful implementation of such programs has been attributed to the mode of their introduction, the home/school relationship, leadership management within educational facilities, as well as the level of delegated power (Darlingron et al., 2018).

Importantly, there is no unified program that can benefit all educational facilities, which points to the need for the management of schools and universities to be more attentive to the demands of their students in terms of introducing health promotion programs into the curriculum. Therefore, context matters when it comes to the integration of such programs at various educational facilities. While some may have more resources and training to enable the integration of sports education into the curriculum, other facilities may be limited in their capabilities and thus unable to be effective in its integration.

A critical perspective on sports health education was offered by Althuwaini (2018) who investigated the integration of the sports education model in the teaching of athletics in the context of a Kuwait middle school. While this study is primarily focused on the athletics curriculum, the researcher identified the need to integrate sports education into any curriculum to facilitate group learning, self-assessment, the promotion of student engagement, and positive health and lifestyle choices.

Athletic challenges, as well as goals intended for promoting health education among students, encourage students to plan and evaluate their sports capabilities as well as get motivated to become better through the integration of valuable experiences associated with various athletic skills.

Within the context of sports education as a curriculum approach, the role of educators should not be undermined. As physical education is a multi-faceted subject, teachers are expected to have appropriate education in order to be accountable for the various demands of the subjects (Stroebel, Hay, & Bloemhoff, 2019). This points to the need to evaluate the capabilities of teachers in facilitating the effective integration of physical education into the curriculum.

According to Stroebel et al. (2019), such issues as assessment problems, the inappropriate allocation of teachers and their inefficient rotation, the lack of knowledge and understanding, as well as insufficient in-service training prevents teachers from facilitating the effective integration of health education into the curriculum. As found by the researcher, there is a need for re-skilling to equip teachers with essential skills and knowledge for facilitating the efficient teaching of physical education.

Female Jeddah Students and Sports Education System

In the middle of last year, female Jeddah students were allowed to study in the field of sports education. This was a significant social step forward for both Jeddah University and the entire Islamic world. This momentous event is of great interest not only for sports professionals but also for sociologists and cultural experts. According to Doll-Tepper, Koenen, and Bailey (2016), “…research and academic writing in the field of women in sport and physical education is produced in the USA … Europe and Canada” (p. 24).

The decision that women may obtain a degree in sports education is not spontaneous but represents one of the points of the state program for improving the Saudi population. It is possible to note that Prince Khaled “is proud to fulfill our mandate of active people as part of the Quality of Life program under Saudi Vision 2030” (“Saudi Arabia’s first cycling series,” 2020, para. 4).

Current Sports Health Instruction Program at Jeddah University includes modern American level teaching methodologies in aspects such as sports science, management, and fitness. The structural component of the discipline fully provides the achievement of degrees of different levels, ranging from a Bachelor to a Ph.D.

Developing and widening of the sports sector of the labor market for all groups of Saudi society serves as the fundamental goal of these innovative measures. A significant number of enrolled students in the amount of 113 people speak of the general interest of the female part of the population in matters of health and physical practice.

Female Attitude to Sport and Sports Education

Over the past decade, women have actively contributed and took part in the development and promotion of sports activities and a healthy lifestyle. Researchers note that in 2018 a run was organized which participants were only women to draw attention to the problem of the low percentage of womankind on the sports agenda (Lysa & Leber, 2018). Also, in 2017, a Saudi princess was appointed to several major leadership positions responsible for the sports issue (Khalife, 2019).

All this speaks of the upcoming significant social and cultural shift in Saudi society. It will be useful to conduct surveys and polls to understand the future mood of the female public about sports in general and sports education in particular methods in Jeddah University. The most effective survey technique will be separate polls among different specialties. This will fully take into account the opinion and mood of each student about the progress and quality of the educational process. Although, at first glance, through the prism of recent events, it can be predicted that a positive response from female students about past integration.

Topical themes for the community, such as the integration of female students in sports education, require serious analysis to understand its value. This event was predetermined by the approval from the authorities and a loud request from the society. It is also essential to recognize and take into account the opinions and attitudes of the new student community in the sports education structure. Social surveys and polls will help to better modern and tested principles and techniques of the Jeddah University to expand the impact of women in the athletic area.



Researchers and medical practitioners have explicitly described the correlation between physical activity and the health of an individual. Many studies show that physical exercise is good for the overall health of a person. It is an effective method of preventing and controlling conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and coronary disease (McKinney et al., 2016; Elmagd, 2016).

However, physical activity among Saudi Arabians is still relatively low, considering people are knowledgeable about the advantages of physical activity. Furthermore, students in colleges and institutions of higher learning are not sufficiently active (Alkhateeb et al., 2019). This puts many people at risk of developing diseases. Among the methods of controlling physical inactivity and chronic health disorders among students in institutions of higher learning and the general Saudi Arabian population is introducing sports health education instruction programs.

These programs have been available to male students for the past twenty years and only recently has this program been expanded to the curriculum for female students. The program explored in the study was used in the past, but it has not been tested with female students, only on males. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of such an intervention has not been properly studied with female students. Additionally, the willingness of faculty and their ability to effectively implement the program has not been well examined.

It is also necessary to study the benefits and difficulties that expanding such a program would pose to the university, Saudi Arabian government, and other stakeholders. This chapter described the research methods employed by highlighting the research questions, hypotheses, research design, research variables, participants, instrument, data collection, and analysis procedures. The study will focus on the sports education educational program for female students at the University of Jeddah. The implications for other educational facilities in Saudi Arabia will be explored in Chapter 5 of this paper.

Research Questions

The main research question to be answered in this study is “What are the thoughts and experiences of students and faculty participating in the integration of the sports health education instructional program into the curriculum for female students at Jeddah University in Saudi Arabia? The supporting sub-questions are:

  • R1 Are the faculty well equipped to provide sufficient health education to female Jeddah University students?
  • R2 Does Jeddah University provides enough resources to facilitate the integration of the sports health education program into the curriculum for female students?
  • R3 What barriers may prevent the implementation of the sports health education instructional program as a compulsory discipline for female students?
  • R4 What is the benefits of the implementation of the sports education instructional program as a compulsory discipline for female students?

Research Methodology

This section of the research is dedicated to describing the procedures used for conducting data collection and analysis procedures. The research for this study uses both quantitative and qualitative data and follows a concurrent triangulation mixed method format (Figure 1). This design will provide more in-depth information about the perspectives and experiences of students and teachers concerning the integration of a sports education instructional program into the curriculum for female students at Jeddah University in Saudi Arabia.

Quantitative and qualitative data and follows a concurrent triangulation mixed method format

Triangulation is among one of the main objectives of mixed methods research. According to Denzin (1978), “triangulation is the combination of methodologies in the study of the same phenomenon.” It allows the researcher to corroborate and to support the results relative to the same phenomenon with different methods and to ameliorate internal and external validity.

The concurrent aspect of the study is connected to the collection of two types of data – qualitative and quantitative to explain the phenomena of physical education using different sources of data (Onwuegbuzie, Slate, Leech, & Collins, 2007; Onwuegbuzie, & Combs, 2011). This aspect is an implication of the chosen research design – concurrent triangulation mixed method.

Research Design

In this section, the research design of the study will be explained and outlined in detail. The current study uses a mixed method design, which implies the systematic investigation of a given phenomenon through collecting both quantitative and qualitative data. This study will collect quantitative data, which will help answer several essential questions about the efficiency of the chosen program.

This data will assist the researchers in answering these questions by explaining some aspects of physical education integration in the curriculum that could be missed in the close-ended questions. Additionally, the participants will be able to express their beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes towards physical education at Jeddah University, which will help explore the research question more accurately.

The concurrent design allows connecting each variable of the close-ended questions to open-ended questions, for instance, the current level of physical activity, perception of University’s readiness, the willingness of faculty members to assist students, and use them to answer the research questions.

This will help evaluate the constructs examined by this study because it will provide a multi-dimensional perspective of the issue. It should be noted that different data will be collected through open-ended and closed-ended questions to answer the research question. Additionally, the research is explorative because this approach is designed for an initial exploration of a phenomenon; hence it will help relate the variables to the main question.

Study Population and Sample Selection

Data will be collected from 113 students and four faculty members, who were already recruited to the program and were introduced to the program on 2/6/19. The students are recruited from different cohorts and classrooms. The main characteristic of the students is that they are females enrolled in a three-year program at Jeddah University, who already completed their first two semesters. All of the participants are female because the focus of his research implies the need to address the gap in physical training programs tailored towards women.

Four female lecturers are working with these students, who were recruited from Egypt and Jordan, and are currently working with the students. The characteristics of the students and faculty members were chosen to ensure that the study results will be reliable, which is the reasoning behind the gender of the participants. They were identified by examining the purpose of the research, outlining key variables and future application of the program, and selecting appropriate individuals.

Purposeful sampling will be used for choosing participants for the research. The purposeful sampling method will be applied since the design of the study implies that students and faculty members with specific characteristics will be recruited. It is a random sampling method and allows recruiting a sufficient number of participants to mitigate errors.

The participants, both students and faculty members, were recruited through advertisements and based on their gender, age, and study year, the candidates were selected. To ensure that Human Subject regulations are met, all individuals will receive a form that outlined the key aspects of the research, implications, and ethical considerations.


For this study, the researcher is using a subject-completed instrument. While the researcher developed the questionnaire, the answers are given by participants, which is attributed to the subject-completed nature of the instrument. During the data collection process, the participants are given a variety of questions in order to achieve variability in perspectives and experiences.

The survey has four sections: the first one focuses on collecting general information and consists of seven close-ended questions where only one option can be chosen. The second section contains eleven close-ended questions with the application of a Likert scale and evaluates the levels of physical activity, barriers that obstruct students and faculty members from being more active, and general institutional problems connected to regular exercising.

Section three ten close-ended questions with two options – yes or now and examines the attitudes towards physical activity, planning specifics, costs, and other related factors. Finally, section four consists of ten open-ended questions that allow for the adequate evaluation of the opinions that the participants of the research have towards health education programs that target physical activity in Jeddah University.

Validity and Reliability

There were two options for validating the Arabic survey: first, it was sent to two professors at university Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and they read and approved the translation. Second, Concordia University Chicago has a service to confirm the translation of the survey from English to Arabic and Concordia confirmed that the translation matched the two languages, which was the approach used in this research. There are two main issues connected to examining the validity and reliability of results – the translation of the survey and tests for reliability.

According to Briggs, Coleman, and Morrison (2008), triangulation allows checking the validity of a study, since it implies comparing information from different sources, in the case of this research – from quantitative and qualitative questionnaire responses. Cronbach’ Alpha will allow comparing the correlation of results collected through two methods.

Data Collection Procedures

The method for collecting the quantitative data and qualitative data will be through the use of a questionnaire. In the context of quantitative research, questionnaires are useful for data collection. Qualitative methods allow examining a phenomenon, which is helpful for studies that initiate research on a particular topic.

To ensure that all participants complete the survey, the researcher will explain the purpose and implications of this study to the participants. The questions will de be developed using simple language, and the survey participants will be recruited based on the selection criteria explained in the previous section. The researcher will collect the data using the web-based survey tool Qualtrics and will be distributed by the researcher.

Data Analysis Procedures

The survey will be distributed, and data will be collected using To analyze the responses, collected from the students and faculty members, SPSS software will be used. The descriptive statistics methodology will be applied because of the design of this research – it is exploratory. The survey form consists of four sections, three of which are dedicated to close-ended questions, with section four containing ten open-ended questions.

The researcher will examine the open-ended questions to locate information that can help answer the questions that this study aims to explore and will make conclusions to explain these answers and rationale for the physical activity programs.

For the close-ended questions, the level of statistical significance for this quantitative data will be tested. The statistical package for social sciences SPSS will be used to collect and evaluate the data from the responses. Concurrent triangulation will be applied to survey software. This methodology allows collecting a combination of qualitative and quantitative data, analyzing the two, and making conclusions based on the combined results.

Finally, the data from the close-ended questions analysis and open-ended questions will be analyzed, and by applying the methods of descriptive statistics, the researcher will make a conclusion regarding physical activity program implications at Jeddah University. The research analysis is aligned with the design of this study.


The main limitation of this study is the limited body of prior research focusing on the implementation of similar educational programs in the curriculum of an educational facility such as Jeddah University.

Ethical Considerations

When collecting data from teachers with the help of questionnaires, it is imperative to consider the ethical issues that may arise from such a data collection method. The researcher must ensure that the information provided by the study participants is kept confidential. This is possible through assigning numbers to each participant to avoid the disclosure of their names, addresses, as well as other personal and professional information.

In this way, respondents can be more open to giving honest answers to questions because their data is not involved in the questionnaires. Moreover, the postal option of questionnaire administration is not included in the data collection procedure, which strengthens the security of participants’ information.

All teachers involved in the study will be presented with informed consent forms prior to completing the questionnaires. These forms will introduce the study and provide the purpose for its implementation in order for the participants to be aware of the reasons for which the research is being conducted. In addition, the informed consent form will let participants know that when they decide to get involved in research, they are voluntarily allowed ins to share vital information.

By signing the consent form, teachers confirm their willingness to participate and add to the vast body of knowledge associated with the integration of sports education into the curriculum. It is important to attain informed consent to protect the researcher from potential litigation from study participants and make sure that the researcher and the participants share a mutual opinion of the study.


In the current study, several limitations of the research are necessary to mention. While the subject matter is widespread, there has been limited research conducted on the topic of implementing a sports education instructional program at educational facilities. The main limitation of this study is the limited body of prior research focusing on the implementation of similar educational programs in the curriculum of an educational facility such as Jeddah University.


To understand more about physical activity at the University of Jeddah and the need to incorporate a sports health educational program, a survey was conducted. The study focused on gathering data from at least experiences of 113 students and 4 faculties participating in the integration of the sports health education instructional program into the curriculum for female students at Jeddah University in Saudi Arabia. The questions administered to the respondents aimed to gather data that shows the preparedness of the institutions of higher learning to manage a sport’s health education program. The aim is to see how the University of Jeddah can successfully implement the program to enhance the physical activity of the students and reduce the associated illnesses. The survey was divided into four sections, which the respondents were required to answer.

Part 1 (Please tick appropriately)

  • What is your gender?
    • Male
    • Female
    • Other
  • What is your level of education
    • BA
    • MA
    • Ph.D.
  • What is your overall teaching experience
    • 0-5 Years
    • 6-10 Years
    • Over 11 Years
  • Kindly indicate your marital status
    • Single
    • Married
    • Divorced
    • Other
  • What is your age
    • 20-29
    • 30-39
    • 40-49
    • 50-59
    • 60-69
    • 70+ Years
  • How many times do you go for physical activity each week?
    • 0 times
    • 2 times
    • 3 times
    • 4 times
    • Other
  • Kindly indicate your job position
    • Junior instructor
    • Senior instructor
    • Department head
    • Professor
    • Other
  • Kindly indicate the average household monthly income of the majority of the students you teach
    • Below $ 500
    • $ 500-1000
    • $1001-2000
    • $ 2001-3000
    • Above $ 3000

Part 2 (Strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree)

Strongly agree agree neutral disagree Strongly disagree
I regularly participate in regular activity to show students a good example to emulate
Students do not engage in physical activity because of tight academic schedules
Deteriorating health conditions among students and by extension, the general population, is related to low participation in sporting and physical activities
Saudi Arabian institutions of higher learning are ill-equipped to provide sports health educational instructional program
Lecturers and instructors are ill-equipped and prepared to provide sports educational program to students in institutions of higher learning
There is limited awareness among students about the usefulness and importance of physical activity in alleviating chronic illnesses.
The introduction of a sports health education instruction program will reduce the cases of chronic illnesses in Saudi Arabian higher education institutions.
Instructors and teaching staff will accept the introduction of a sports educational program in their institutions
If introduced, a sports education program will translate into better educational outcomes for learners in institutions of higher learning
The teaching curriculum need to accommodate more physical education activities
The Saudi Arabian curriculum is skewed to discriminate women from participating in sports and physical activities

Part 3: (“Yes” or “No”)

  • Instructors and students have neglected physical education in institutions of higher learning
    • Yes
    • No
  • The curriculum is highly effective in impacting physical activity skills among learners
    • Yes
    • No
  • Schools have sufficient facilities to support students’ physical activities
    • Yes
    • No
  • School facilities are easy to access and the changing rooms are sufficient for all learners
    • Yes
    • No
  • More females are inhibited from participating in sports and physical activities due to cultural and gender bias
    • Yes
    • No
  • Instructors are inadequately motivated to provide physical training education to students
    • Yes
    • No
  • Physical educational training is cost-intensive and this hinders the implementation of the program in Saudi Arabia schools.
    • Yes
    • No
  • The government has sufficiently supported physical education programs in Saudi Arabia schools
    • Yes
    • No
  • Each time one engages in physical activity, the cognitive ability improves
    • Yes
    • No
  • Physical education program should be mandatory in Saudi Arabian schools
    • Yes
    • No

Part 4: (Please answer the following questions as honestly as possible taking into account personal experiences and knowledge)

  1. What is the importance of sports and physical activities in alleviating chronic diseases among the students and the general population?
  2. Is there a positive relationship between sporting and physical activities on the educational attainment of students in Saudi Arabian schools?
  3. Do you feel that gender influences participation in physical and sporting activities?
  4. Kindly share some of the gender aspects of the Saudi Arabian culture that influences participation in sporting and physical activities?
  5. How much time do you allocate each week for sporting or physical activities?
  6. To what extent do you feel that the curriculum teaches students sufficient skills and provides knowledge about physical activities?
  7. To what extent do you feel that the general attitudes towards sports and physical activities affect the student’s participation in extracurricular activities?
  8. Do you feel that the economic condition and situation of the students influence their involvement and participation in sports and physical education activities?
  9. Has the Saudi Arabian curriculum sufficiently addressed the problem of chronic diseases through sporting and physical activities? What are the existing gaps?
  10. Kindly share views and suggestions regarding your general perception towards a physical education program in Saudi Arabian schools? Should a sports health program be made mandatory?


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