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Identifying High School Physical Education Physical Activity Patterns After High School

David Barney, Francis T. Pleban, Carol Wilkinson, Keven A. Prusak


National standards for physical education (PE) encompass five principles for the purpose of defining what high school students should recognize and be able to perform as a result of a quality PE program. The expectation is that youth will develop an active, healthy lifestyle into adulthood from activities and skills taught in PE. Researchers from the United Kingdom and the United States have identified team sports as the primary curricular design in high school PE. However, it has been suggested the use of team sports is not an effective way to encourage students to be physically active throughout their lives. Participants for this study were 1,034 college-aged students from a private university located in the western United States. Responses from the questionnaire (Questions 9, 12, and 14) indicated a significant difference at the p < 0.05 level when gender was compared. Cohen's d for statistically significant values indicated low to moderate practical significance. Seven open-ended questions were used to investigate in which activities students enjoyed participating during high school PE. A majority of college students reflected the desire of being taught or exposed to lifetime activities during their high school PE class. College students who were surveyed tended to want to attain skills in high school that they could use throughout their lives. Study results indicate that some college students' reflections on past PE exposure were not beneficial.

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