The Australian Joy of Moving program supported by Ferrero
In collaboration with School Sport Victoria, Deakin University has embarked on a world-first study to develop and evaluate the Australian Joy of Moving research program in Victorian primary schools.
The study is based on the innovative methodology of the International Joy of Moving program, created by Dr Caterina Pesce, which promotes a fun and non-competitive approach to physical activity by children, developing both cognitive and physical abilities.
Following its success in Italy, Australia is evolving the program further through the first evidence-based study, to prove the need for movement-based programs for children.
The Australian Joy of Moving program aims to increase children’s motivation to be active by helping children realise the wellbeing benefits of moving. The program will promote healthy development of the ‘whole child’ and provide a deeper developmental understanding of the benefits associated with engaging in physical activity for children of all abilities.
Research has shown that physical activity can have a positive impact on numerous aspects of child wellbeing, including children’s self-esteem, self-confidence and emotional regulation. Outcomes such as these are vitally important for childhood development, particularly for children who experience emotional and behavioural problems, as they are predictive of positive health later in life.
Primary schools are increasingly taking an active approach to incorporate movement as part of their curriculum. Indeed, there are more school based movement programs out there today than ever before.
With most of these programs focusing on the physical aspects of getting moving, children have not yet been given the opportunity to explore the wellbeing benefits associated with being active.
By taking part in this research program, teachers will have the opportunity to promote the connection between the mind and body using short fun based movement activities that can be tailored to their class. The activities are simple, require minimal equipment and are designed to maximise capabilities so that children of all abilities can be involved.
Early testimonials from PE teachers involved in the study say, ‘We have an amazing opportunity to switch children on to the fun and lifetime benefits for body and mind through movement,’ and, ‘It’s vital to cultivate a love of movement and exercise in children to encourage regular lifetime activity.’
Deakin would like to thank Ferrero through its international Corporate Social Responsibility Project Kinder+Sport, for allowing us to make this project a reality. Kinder+Sport aims to bring the joy of movement into the life of every child.