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The Effect of Physical Education Teacher Physical Appearance on Student Physical Activity

Hayley B. McKown, Timothy A. Brusseau, Ryan D. Burns, Nick Galli

Abstract


This study examined how a physical educator’s physical appearance affected student physical activity. Students (N = 142) from fourth- to sixth-grade physical education classes wore pedometers. Classes were assigned to a female teacher either wearing a fat suit or not wearing a fat suit. A 3 × 2 × 2 ANCOVA data analysis revealed a statistically significant Grade × Group interaction, F(2, 129) = 6.48, p = 0.002, η2 = 0.09. Fourth-grade students displayed a higher number of steps per minute with the fit-appearing teacher (p < 0.001, d = 0.39), while sixth-grade students displayed a higher number of steps per minute with the teacher wearing a fat suit (p < 0.001, d = 0.89). The fourth graders performed a higher number of step per minute with the fit-appearing teacher and a lower number of steps per minute with the overweight-appearing teacher. Opposite results came with the sixth graders, who displayed a lower number of steps per minute with the fit-appearing teacher than with the overweight-appearing teacher.

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Keywords


children; role model; step counts

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18666/TPE-2019-V76-I2-8719

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