The purpose of this study was to determine how physical education students’ cardiovascular responses as determined by mean heart rate, standard deviation of heart rate, and percentage of time in target heart rate zone varied according to student characteristics. Participants were 505 students in Grades 3 through 12. The Polar Accurex Plus heart rate telemetry system was used to measure the physiological load on the cardiovascular system. Three-way ANOVA results suggested that heart rate patterns in physical education varied according to gender, grade, and activity. For example, secondary school girls were more active in individual activities while secondary school boys were more active in team sport activities. Elementary students were the most active group and had the most variability in their heart rate patterns.
P. Hodges Kulinna, J. Martin, Q. Lai, and A. Kliber are with the Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202; B. Reed coaches basketball at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015.