Changing School Physical Activity: An Examination of Individual School Designed Programs

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 Arizona State University
  • | 2 The College at Brockport
  • | 3 Indiana University
  • | 4 Pennington Biomedical Research Center
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This study guided by a health ecology conceptual framework evaluated four “bottom-up” Physical Activity (PA) interventions with school personnel planning for their own health ecology with state level support for one year. Students (N = 616) were from four schools in the Southwestern USA in the 3rd-8th grade. Participants had various ethnic backgrounds (e.g., Hispanic 44%, Caucasian 43%) and wore a pedometer for five school days pre/post intervention. Teacher and school level data were also reported by schools. Program components varied across the four intervention sites. Paired samples t test results showed that three of the four intervention schools significantly increased both school day and 24 hr PA. School personnel reported significantly more favorable results at post test for nurse visits, student absences, and classroom teachers’ use of PA breaks. Using a health ecology lens, when schools develop their own PA intervention and have “buy in” from staff, significant increases in PA are attainable.

Hodges Kulinna is with Arizona State University—Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Mesa, AZ. Brusseau is with The College at Brockport—Physical Education, Brockport, NY. Cothran is with Indiana University—Kinesiology, Bloomington, IN. Tudor-Locke is with Pennington Biomedical Research Center—Walking Behavior Laboratory, Baton Rouge, LA.

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