Examining the Influence of Physical and Health Education on Ontario Grade 9 Students’ Physical Activity Intentions and Behaviors





physical activity, physical and health education, theory of planned behaviour


Insufficient physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle are major contributors to health risks for Canadian youth. Adolescents, particularly females, tend to experience major drop-offs in physical activity levels during high school. However, there is minimal research examining the extent to which physical and health education (PHE) courses promote physical activity and mitigate against this decline. Grounded in the theory of planned behavior (TPB), this quantitative short-term longitudinal study examined the effectiveness of Grade 9 PHE for 197 students’ reports of TPB constructs, physical activity intentions, and physical activity behavior. Results were analyzed using 2 (time: Time Point 1 [T1], Time Point 2 [T2]) × 2 (condition: in PHE/not in PHE) × 2 (TPB status: higher or lower than the mean) MANCOVAs with males and females examined separately. Findings revealed there was no interaction among time, condition, and TPB status, meaning that students’ physical activity intentions and TPB constructs did not change over the study. There was a significant effect of condition for females in PHE. Attitude and Physical Activity Behavior were higher at both time points, indicating that females taking PHE classes had more positive attitudes and higher physical activity behavior than females not enrolled in PHE classes. PHE teachers should focus attention on changing attitudes toward physical activity for this age group, given the importance of this construct.