Relationship of Enjoyment, Perceived Competence, and Cardiorespiratory Fitness to Physical Activity Levels of Elementary School Children


  • Andrew D. Eberline Ball State University
  • Lawrence W. Judge Ball State University
  • Andy Walsh Ball State University
  • Larry D. Hensley University of Northern Iowa



obesity, physical fitness, physical activity, youth, enjoyment, perceived competence, cardiorespiratory fitness


Because of the continued increase in obesity rates and decrease in children’s physical activity and fitness levels, this study investigated the relationship between habitual physical activity and perceived competence, enjoyment of physical activity, and cardiorespiratory fitness among upper elementary school children. This study used the FitnessGram PACER test to measure children’s cardiorespiratory fitness, the Children’s Physical Activity Correlates (CPAC) to measure perceived competence and enjoyment of physical activity, and the Physical Activity Questionnaire–Children (PAQ-C) to measure habitual physical activity. Results of a forced-entry multiple regression demonstrated that each predictor variable significantly predicted physical activity. The results of bivariate correlations also exhibited significant results. Enjoyment, perceived competence, and cardiorespiratory fitness were positively correlated with physical activity. These results support previous research and have many implications on elementary students. This study demonstrates that enjoyment is a significant variable in getting children to engage and persist in physical activity, providing support for the youth physical activity promotion model. These results provide support that school physical education programs need to be restructured to promote enjoyment and physical activity more effectively, ultimately to improve overall physical fitness in today’s youth.

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Author Biographies

Andrew D. Eberline, Ball State University

Andrew is an assistant professor and coordinator of the HPE program at Ball State University

Lawrence W. Judge, Ball State University

Lawrence W. Judge is a professor and Associate Chair at Ball State University

Andy Walsh, Ball State University

Andy Walsh is a graduate assistant at Ball State University

Larry D. Hensley, University of Northern Iowa

Larry is a professor emeritus at the University of Nothern Iowa