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Amanda Telford, Jo Salmon, Damien Jolley and David Crawford

This study aimed to develop a reliable, valid, and feasible method for assessing physical activity among children ages 5–6 and 10–12 years. Test–retest reliability of a parental proxy questionnaire and a children’s self-report questionnaire was assessed in 280 children and parents. The criterion validity of the questionnaires was assessed using accelerometry. The proxy questionnaire provided a reliable measure of the type, frequency, and duration of children’s physical activity. Neither version of the questionnaire provided an accurate estimate of individual children’s physical activity. To assess the type, frequency, intensity, and duration of children’s activity, a combination of questionnaire and objective measures should be employed.

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Amanda Telford, Jo Salmon, Anna Timperio and David Crawford

The aim of this study was to describe the type, frequency, duration, and intensity of children’s physical activity and to examine differences by sex, age, and SES. Participants consisted of 5- to 6-year-old (n = 291) and 10- to 12-year-old (n = 919) children and their parents taking part in the Children’s Leisure Activities Study (CLASS). Parents completed proxy questionnaires about their child’s activity, and all children wore an accelerometer for 8 days. Accelerometry data showed that younger children accumulated approximately 4 hrs of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) per day, and older children accumulated approximately 2 hrs per day. Fewer than three- quarters of 10- to 12-year-old boys and less than half of 10- to 12-year-old girls recorded 120 min of MVPA per day. Significant differences in the number of activities, as well as the type and frequency of activities performed, were observed by age and sex. The findings indicate that physical activities that appeal to older girls, such as lifestyle, noncompetitive activities, should be considered in the development of physical activity promotion strategies.

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Natalie Jayne Lander, Lisa Michele Barnett, Helen Brown and Amanda Telford

The purpose of this study was to investigate instruction and assessment of fundamental movement skills (FMSs) by Physical Education (PE) teachers of Year 7 girls. Of 168 secondary school PE teachers, many had received little FMSs professional development, and although most assessed student FMSs proficiency, the quality of assessment was variable. Neither years of experience nor confidence influenced the quality of assessment tools used; however, greater FMSs training improved assessment practice regularity. Teachers more recently out of preservice were more confident in demonstrating FMSs. The results suggest that FMSs education for teachers should be a priority inclusion in both the training of preservice teachers and the ongoing professional development of in-service teachers.

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Brendon P. Hyndman, Amanda C. Benson, Shahid Ullah, Caroline F. Finch and Amanda Telford

Background:

Enjoyment and play during school lunchtime are correlated with children’s physical activity. Despite this, there is an absence of studies reporting children’s enjoyment of play during school lunchtime breaks. The purpose of this study was to examine the intraday and interday reliability of children’s enjoyment of school lunchtime play.

Methods:

Surveys used to assess children’s enjoyment of lunchtime play were distributed to and completed by 197 children (112 males, 85 females), aged 8–12 years attending an elementary school in Victoria, Australia. Children completed the surveys during class before lunch (expected enjoyment) and after lunch (actual enjoyment) for 5 days. The intra- and interday enjoyment of school lunchtime play reliability were determined using a weighted kappa.

Results:

Intraday kappa values ranged from fair (0.31) to substantial (0.75) within each of the 5 days (median kappa = 0.41). In comparison, “expected” (0.09–0.40; median 0.30) and “actual” (0.05–0.46; median 0.28) interday enjoyment of lunchtime play displayed low reliability.

Conclusions:

Children’s enjoyment of lunchtime play appears to be more consistent within days than across days. The findings suggest that assessment of children’s enjoyment of lunchtime play once on a single day would be representative of a particular day but not necessarily that particular school week.

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Natalie J. Lander, Lisa Hanna, Helen Brown, Amanda Telford, Philip J. Morgan, Jo Salmon and Lisa M. Barnett

Purpose:

Competence in fundamental movement skills (FMSs) is positively associated with physical activity, fitness, and healthy weight status. However, adolescent girls exhibit very low levels of fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency.

Method:

In the current study, interviews were carried out with physical education teachers to investigate their perspectives of: (i) the importance and relevance of teaching FMSs to Year 7 girls, and (ii) the factors influencing effective FMS instruction.

Results:

There were two major findings in the data: Year 7 was perceived to be a critical period to instruct girls in FMSs; and current teaching practices were perceived to be suboptimal for effective FMS instruction.

Conclusion:

Apparent deficits in current FMS teaching practice may be improved with more comprehensive teacher training (both during physical education teacher education (PETE) and in in-service professional development) in pedagogical strategies, curriculum interpretation, and meaningful assessment.