Increasing Children’s School Time Physical Activity Using Structured Fitness Breaks

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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Fifth-grade students’ physical activity levels were examined via heart rate telemetry and pedometry during school fitness and recess breaks. Twenty-seven students with a mean age of 11.03 (-.32) years participated in morning recess (MR), lunch recess (LR), and fitness breaks (FB) for three days. Structured FB’s consisted of students engaging in locomotor and nonlocomotor activities within an obstacle course framework, while recess breaks followed a traditional model. Results from repeated measures ANOVAs indicated students engaged in significantly more physical activity during FB than MR and LR. Fitness breaks provided a viable method for increasing children’s school time activity levels.

Philip W. Scruggs is with the Department of Physical Education Health and Sport Studies, Miami University, Oxford, OH; Sandy K. Beveridge and Doris L. Watson are with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.

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