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Developing a methodology to explore the influences of environmental heat on children’s Health and Physical Education within ‘top-end’ Northern Territory schools: The beginning of the HEATS study.

Hyndman, Brendon (). Developing a methodology to explore the influences of environmental heat on children’s Health and Physical Education within ‘top-end’ Northern Territory schools: The beginning of the HEATS study.. In: The 2015 AARE-UQ Health and Physical Education Research Conference, University of Queensland, St Lucia campus, Brisbane, QLD, 19-20 June.

Document type: Conference Paper
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Author Hyndman, Brendon
Title Developing a methodology to explore the influences of environmental heat on children’s Health and Physical Education within ‘top-end’ Northern Territory schools: The beginning of the HEATS study.
Conference Name The 2015 AARE-UQ Health and Physical Education Research Conference
Conference Location University of Queensland, St Lucia campus, Brisbane, QLD
Conference Dates 19-20 June
Publisher AARE - Australian Association for Research in Education
Abstract Children undertaking physical activities outdoors in the ‘top end’ (monsoonal north) of the Northern Territory (NT) are regularly exposed to an extreme climate of environmental heat and intense humidity. A major hazard of such environmental heat on children’s engagement in outdoor Health and Physical Education (HPE) activities can include heat stress, which can lead to the impairment of school children’s internal temperature regulation. Heat stress has resulted in permanent disability or death in the NT and has been reported to contribute towards reduced psychosocial resilience. The environmental heat in the NT has been linked to a growing economic workplace burden via strains on employee retention and productivity. Within the context of outdoor HPE within NT schools, children can appear ‘listless’ or ‘restless’, complain about the heat/humidity and voice negative feelings about physical activity throughout a school year. Environmental heat can cause stress to both school children’s physiological and emotive health, which could have a negative impact on comfort, wellbeing, meeting national physical activity guidelines and HPE curricular objectives. By negatively impacting on school children’s ability to learn physical skills, habits and participation in HPE activities, environmental heat could cause NT children to lag behind other states across a range of HPE outcomes. With such factors in mind, developing a study to understand the most ideal, comfortable and safe settings for children’s outdoor HPE within the environmental heat of the NT top-end is vital. Within this presentation the proposed methodology for exploring the influences of heat on engagement in activities within top-end schools (HEATS) study will be outlined. A range of future potential strategies to ensure school children can engage in comfortable and safe outdoor HPE will also be discussed. The implications from the proposed HEATS study could inform future school HPE policies across programs within similar climates, both nationally and internationally.
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Created: Sun, 07 Jun 2015, 21:18:03 CST by Brendon Hyndman