Factors Leading to Discrepancies in Accumulated Physical Activity During School Hours in Elementary School Students

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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Purpose: Current in-school physical activity (PA) policies lack regulation, which testifies to the urgency of monitoring in-school moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA). This study quantifies the demographical differences of in-school PA among elementary students. Methods: Fourth-grade students wore accelerometers during school for 1 week. The teachers logged information for PA setting and duration of opportunity. Results: The accelerometry data (N = 148) showed alarming results in the lack of MVPA during in-school PA opportunity times. Significant sex differences showed boys to accumulate more minutes MVPA per day in recess than girls (7.62 ± 5.87 and 5.19 ± 3.03, respectively). Racial differences showed that non-White students accumulated significantly more minutes of MVPA per week during the school day than White students (30.82 ± 19.09 and 23.44 ± 18.41, respectively). Conclusions: The students fell short of the recommended 30 min of MVPA per day during school hours, as advised by a state mandate. Significant differences were seen in PA levels across sex and race, supporting the need for enhanced attention to influential factors on PA engagement.

Galloway is with the Department of Kinesiology, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO. Booker is with the Department of Kinesiology, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS. Owens is with the Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, University of Mississippi, University, MS.

Galloway (RileyGalloway@MissouriState.edu) is the corresponding author.
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