Measuring Students’ Physical Activity Levels: Validating SOFIT for Use with High-School Students

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education

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Paul RoweKatholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

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Hans van der MarsOregon State University

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Joel SchuldheiszConcordia University

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Susan FoxOregon State University

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This study was conducted to validate the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) for measuring physical activity levels of high-school students. Thirty-five students (21 girls and 14 boys from grades 9-12) completed a standardized protocol including lying, sitting, standing, walking, running, curl-ups, and push-ups. Heart rates and Energy Expenditure, that is, oxygen uptake, served as concurrent validity criteria. Results indicate that SOFIT discriminates accurately among high-school students’ sedentary behaviors (i.e., lying down, sitting, standing) and moderate to vigorous physical activity behavior and is recommended for use in research and assessment of physical activity levels in physical education classes for this age group. Implications for use of SOFIT by both researchers and teachers in physical education are described, as well.

Rowe is with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Molenstraat 18, Meldert 3320, BELGIUM. Van der Mars is with the Dept. of Exercise & Sport Science, WB 107C, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR 97331. Schuldheisz is with the Dept. of Physical Education, Concordia University, 2811 NE Holman, Portland, OR 97211. Susan Fox is with Oregon State University.

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