Impact of Physical Best Warm-Up Activities on Elementary Students’ Physical Activity Levels and Knowledge


  • Joe Deutsch North Dakota State University
  • Roman Waldera North Dakota State University
  • Jenny Linker North Dakota State University
  • Ethan Schnabel Robert Asp Elementary, Moorhead Public Schools



health-related fitness, physical education curriculum


Daily physical activity (PA) benefits children’s and adolescents’ overall health while reducing the likelihood of obesity. Elementary school physical education (PE) classes provide opportunities for children and adolescents not only to participate in PA but also to build the knowledge and skills needed to be physically active across their lifetime. Physical Best (PB) is one program physical educators might use to develop students’ physical literacy and skills. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of PB program inclusion on elementary PE students’ PA levels and health-related fitness knowledge (HRFK). Three activity games were paired once with a PB fitness concept-based warm-up activity and once with a traditional warm-up activity for six lessons. PA levels of elementary school students (n = 75, 30 males, 45 females) were recorded with both movement tracking bracelets and heart monitors during these six PE lessons. Means were calculated for movements and time in and above target heart rate zone (TZ) by warm-up type (PB vs. traditional), sex, and grade level. An HRFK assessment given to students pre- and postintervention assessed  changes in fitness knowledge. Repeated-measures analysis of variances were utilized in the comparison of sex and grade level differences in relation to movements, TZ minutes, and HRFK assessment scores. Overall, children had significantly more movements in the PB lessons compared with traditional lessons (p < .05), while there was no difference in TZ minutes. HRFK assessment scores increased from pre- to postintervention (p < .05). Children accrued more movements in PB warm-up lessons than in traditional warm-up lessons but exhibited no difference in PA intensity. Children also increased HRFK from pre- to post-PB experience. 

Author Biographies

Joe Deutsch, North Dakota State University

Professor in Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences

Roman Waldera, North Dakota State University

Doctoral candidate in Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences

Jenny Linker, North Dakota State University

Associate professor in Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences