To Move More and Sit Less: Does Physical Activity/Fitness Knowledge Matter in Youth?

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education

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Senlin ChenIowa State University

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Yang LiuIowa State University

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Jodee SchabenUniversity of Wisconsin River Falls

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The purpose of this study was to examine physical activity (PA)/fitness knowledge and its association with PA and sedentary behavior in youth.


Eighth grade students from five schools (N = 660) in a midwestern state completed a PE Metrics written test and the Youth Activity Profile to assess PA/fitness knowledge, PA (at school and after school) and sedentary behavior, respectively.


Participants were clustered into high, medium, and low knowledge groups. Students in the high knowledge group reported higher level of PA after school (p < .05, d = .28) but lower level of sedentary behavior than the low knowledge group (p = .001, d = -.45). The low knowledge group also reported higher PA at school (p < .05, d = .25). PA/Fitness knowledge significantly predicted sedentary behavior, particularly in the low knowledge group (β = -.32, t = -2.46, p < .05, R2 = .105), after controlling for gender and race/ethnicity.


Physical education focused on conveying PA/fitness knowledge is warranted to educate youth to move more and sit less.

Chen and Liu are with the Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Schaben is with the Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Wisconsin River Falls, River Falls, WI.

Address author correspondence to Senlin Chen at
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