This paper describes SOFIT (System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time), an observation instrument designed to assess variables associated with students’ activity levels and opportunities to become physically fit in physical education. SOFIT involves the direct observation of classes while simultaneously recording student physical activity levels, curriculum context variables, and teacher behavior. The paper reports the reliability, validity, and feasibility of using the instrument, as well as data from using SOFIT to assess 88 third- and fourth-grade classes.
Thomas L. McKenzie is with the Department of Physical Education and James F. Sallis is with the Department of Psychology at San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182. Philip R. Nader is with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, CA 92037.