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Physical Activity Contributions of Dancing Classrooms Program on Middle School Students

Colin G. Pennington, Larry P. Nelson


This study measured the physical activity contributions of Dancing Classrooms on middle school students. Data were collected on 77 students from two large urban middle schools who wore Actigraph wGT3X+ accelerometers for 2 weeks during the program. Physical activity profiles were created to show participant heart rates and step counts. Focus groups further explained motivations for and limitations of exercising in the program. Participants averaged 30.23 min of class time participating in beneficial physical activity, including a mean heart rate of 122 bpm and 1,863 steps/class period. Swing dance recorded the highest exercise outputs as well as highest enjoyment by students. Girls recorded significantly higher exercise intensity levels than boys. The majority of dances in the Dancing Classrooms curriculum produce light to vigorous physical activity with Swing dance and some Sugar dances producing a moderate to vigorous physical activity response. Higher physical activity outputs were also attributed to uptempo music modifications and styles of dance instruction that focus on time-on-task awareness.

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Physical Education; Dance; Accelerometers; Heart Rate Telemetry

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