Modifying Middle School Physical Education: Piloting Strategies to Increase Physical Activity

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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Two pilot studies were conducted to examine whether 6th grade students can achieve moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) from 1) activity-based physical education (AB-PE) with 585 participants and 2) a curricular-based (CB-PE) program with 1,544 participants and randomly sampled heart rates during lessons. AB-PE participants spent between 54–66% with a heart rate >140 bpm. CB-PE participants spent between 49–58% with a heart rate >140 bpm. Girls’ mean heart rate was 3.7 bpm lower than the boys. PE can be readily modified so that students spend more than 50% of time in MVPA.

Jago is with the Department of Exercise, Nutrition & Health Sciences, University of Bristol, UK. McMurray is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. Bassin is with the Division of Cardiology, Preventive Cardiology Program, University of California, Irvine, CA. Pyle is with the George Washington University Biostatistics Center, Washington, DC. Bruecker is with the University of California, Irvine, CA. Jakicic is with the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Moe is with the Division of Health Promotion and Sports Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR. Murray is with the Department of Health Physical Education and Recreation, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX. Volpe is with the Division of Biobehavioral and Health Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.