The Accuracy of Children’s Counting of Exercise Heart Rates

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether children from three schools could accurately count and report their exercise heart rate (HR) during physical education class. Data collection included exercise HR reported by the children and recorded using UNIQ heartwatches. All children were asked to report their exercise HR for 5 and 10 seconds during the aerobic fitness portion of the class. Each child’s reported values were then compared to the heartwatch values. To determine the accuracy of reporting and generalizability of results, a 3 × 3 × 2 (grade by school by method) ANOVA was performed. Results revealed a significant grade-by-school interaction. Children at School A were accurate in counting exercise HR at all grade levels. For schools B and C, children in Grade 5 were accurate in counting, children in Grade 4 were only marginally accurate, and children in Grade 3 were not accurate in counting exercise HR. For each school, the 5-sec count was statistically accurate whereas the 10-sec count was inaccurate. Implications for physical education curricula are discussed.

Richard Best, a master’s student at The University of Texas at the time of this study, is now with the Texas Dept. of Health, Div. of Emergency Medical Services, Austin. Mary Steinhardt is with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Health Education at The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712. Request reprints from Dr. Steinhardt.

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