Physical Education and Recess Contributions to Sixth Graders’ Physical Activity
Keywords:Physical Education, Recess, Physical Activity, Pedometers, Body Composition, Step Counts, PAQ-C
AbstractBackground: The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to examine the percentage of the daily threshold (12,000 steps) that physical education (PE) class and recess contribute to 6th grade students’ overall daily physical activity (PA) and (b) to examine the relationships between gender, PA outside of school, BMI, and steps during both recess and PE. Method: One hundred thirty-eight 6th grade students aged 11–13 years participated. Students completed the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C) and wore a pedometer to measure steps taken for 6 consecutive PE classes and recess sessions. Results: The overall contribution of recess and PE to the daily step goal ranged from 7.1% to 9.6% of the target step count of 12,000. All PA variables were positively correlated with one another (all p < 0.05) and children who took more steps during recess and PE tended to have lower BMI percentiles (both p < 0.05). However, when all variables were entered into the multiple linear regression model simultaneously, only steps taken during PE was predictive of BMI percentile (total model r2 = 0.145, p = 0.001). Conclusion: Further research is needed to explore PA in schools along with potential interventions to increase PA.
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