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An De Meester, Greet Cardon, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, and Leen Haerens

Purpose:

The goals were to investigate whether extracurricular school-based sports reach students not engaging in community sports and whether extracurricular school-based sports participants are more physically active and/or autonomously motivated toward sports than nonparticipants.

Method:

1526 students (48.0% boys; 85.9% Belgian natives; age = 15.34 ± 1.83y) completed validated questionnaires to assess sports participation, physical activity (PA) and sports-motivation. Multilevel regression analyses were conducted.

Results:

Only 28.7% of all students (n = 438), and 19.7% of students not engaging in community sports (n = 123), participated in extracurricular school-based sports. Participants were significantly more physically active [β=44.19, S.E.=17.34, χ2(1)=6.50, p = .01] and autonomously motivated [β=.18, S.E.=.04, χ2(1)=25.62, p < .001] than nonparticipants, even after controlling for community sports participation. Boys were more physically active and autonomously motivated than girls (p < .001).

Conclusion:

As participation is linked to higher PA-levels and autonomous motivation, increasing overall participation rates may contribute to children developing a more physically active lifestyle and achieving the PA guidelines.

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Greet Cardon, Stefanie Verstraete, Dirk De Clercq, and Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij

The main goal of the current study was to compare physical activity levels during swimming and nonswimming elementary physical education classes. We conducted a preliminary study and found that the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) could be used to register physical activity engagement levels in swimming classes. Thirty-nine classes, involving 8- to 12-year olds, participated in one swimming and one nonswimming physical education class. Classes were videotaped and physical activity levels for 234 students were quantified using SOFIT. Students engaged in more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during swimming classes than during nonswimming classes. As a consequence, we advocate the inclusion of swimming lessons in physical education. Because the average engagement in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was lower than the recommended 50% in 41% of swimming classes and in 77% of the nonswimming classes, however, comprehensive efforts are needed to increase physical activity levels during both types of elementary physical education classes.

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Greet Maria Cardon, Leen Liesbeth Haerens, Stefanie Verstraete, and Ilse de Bourdeaudhuij

The present study aimed to investigate how classroom-based self-management lessons to promote physical activity were perceived by students, teachers, and parents. The self-management lessons were implemented by an external physical education specialist in 20 class groups at eight elementary schools. Program perceptions were evaluated in 412 children (mean age 9.7 ± 0.7) using a short questionnaire. Oral surveys were used with 20 teachers and 50 parent participants. Most children were enthusiastic about the program and more than half of them reported being more active. Teachers and parents also perceived the lessons as useful and half of them reported an improvement in children’s physical activity awareness. Eighty percent of the teachers and 32% of the parents perceived an increase in children’s physical activity levels. The SPARK self-management physical activity program appears to promote an active lifestyle in children and was positively received; the implementation of the program by the teachers needs further evaluation.

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Lynn Van den Berghe, Greet Cardon, Nathalie Aelterman, Isabel Barbara Tallir, Maarten Vansteenkiste, and Leen Haerens

Burnout in teachers is related to different maladaptive outcomes. This study aimed at exploring the relationship between emotional exhaustion and motivation to teach in 93 physical education teachers. Results showed that teachers report more emotional exhaustion when they are less autonomously motivated, while the opposite relationship was found for controlled motivation. Next, four motivational profiles were identified by means of cluster analyses: (a) a relative controlled group, (b) a relative lowly motivated group, (c) a relative autonomous group, and (d) a relative highly motivated group. The controlled group reported most emotional exhaustion, whereas the relative autonomous and highly motivated group had the lowest scores on emotional exhaustion. The results indicate that being autonomously motivated may function as a “buffer” against the development of emotional exhaustion. This implicates that it is important for politicians, directors, teachers, and teacher educators to consider teachers’ type of motivation to teach to prevent emotional exhaustion.

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Stefanie J.M. Verstraete, Greet M. Cardon, Dirk L.R. De Clercq, and Ilse M.M. De Bourdeaudhuij

The study aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of a 2-year health-related physical education intervention in a pretest-posttest design. Sixteen elementary schools (764 pupils, mean age: 11.2 ± 0.7) participated in the study. Schools were randomly assigned to the intervention condition (n = 8) and the control condition (n = 8). Making use of direct observation data gathered according to SOFIT (System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time), the moderate-to-vigorous physical activity engagement during physical education classes was significantly higher in the intervention condition than in the control condition. Children’s moderate-to-vigorous physical activity engagement during physical education lessons increased with 14% in the intervention condition (from 42 to 56%). No significant effects were found on the accelerometer data. The health-related physical education intervention was found to be promising in promoting physical activity during physical education classes.