Physical Activity Levels in Middle and High School Physical Education: A Review

in Pediatric Exercise Science

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Stuart FaircloughLiverpool John Moores University

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Gareth StrattonLiverpool John Moores University

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Forty studies reporting physical activity during middle and high school physical education (PE) classes were reviewed. Students engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) for 27% to 47% of class time. Intervention strategies were successful in increasing MVPA. During nonintervention classes the highest levels of MVPA occurred in invasion games and fitness activities. Movement activities stimulated the lowest levels. Boys and girls spent 40% of class time in MVPA. Differences in MVPA during PE were also methodology dependent. PE classes can complement other school-based opportunities to contribute to young people’s daily physical activity.

Fairclough is with the REACH Group and the School of Physical Education, Sport, and Dance, Liverpool John Moores University, I.M. Marsh Campus, Liverpool, UK. Stratton is with the REACH Group and the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Henry Cotton Campus, Liverpool, UK.

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