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Michael Hodges, Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Chong Lee and Ja Youn Kwon

Students of all ages have documented a deficiency in health-related fitness knowledge (HRFK). However, improving students HRFK may require a change in teacher practices and professional development (PD).

Purpose:

This study, framed by Guskey’s Model of Teacher Change (GMTC; Guskey, 2002), sought to assist teachers’ HRFK instruction as part of their physical education curriculum and practices. Initially, researchers examined: (a) teachers’ perceptions of health-related fitness knowledge instruction, followed by, (b) selected teachers’ perceptions of the professional development (PD) methods and the approach to teaching HRFK.

Method:

Semistructured interviews were conducted among elementary physical education teachers’ (N = 9) in one suburban school district. A randomly selected smaller group of teachers (n = 5), had PD on Knowledge in Action Lesson Segments (KIALS), an approach to teaching HRFK. Teachers were asked to implement KIALS into their fifth grade physical education classes and interviewed two additional times.

Results:

Three themes emerged from the data: (a) HRFK is critical but I can’t get to it; (b) If you show it, they will implement it; and (c) Knowledge in Action gets the job done.

Conclusion:

PD procedures in this study and KIALS were seen as favorable. Results paralleled GMTC principles, as researchers confirmed quality PD, and observations of positive student outcomes further reinforced teachers’ beliefs. Teachers also expressed a willingness to continue using KIALS after the completion of this study, concluding achievement of the final fourth principal of the change process. Findings suggested that KIALS, if presented with similar PD will be well-received by teachers supporting their efforts to improve student HRFK outcomes.

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Michael G. Hodges, Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Hans van der Mars and Chong Lee

The purpose of this study was to determine students’ health-related fitness knowledge (HRFK) and physical activity levels after the implementation of a series of fitness lessons segments called Knowledge in Action (KIA). KIA aims to teach health-related fitness knowledge (HRFK) during short episodes of the physical education lesson. Teacher participants from one district (N = 10) were randomly assigned into either the intervention or comparison group. Intervention teachers used the KIA fitness lessons during fifth grade students’ physical education classes. These teachers received training sessions, teaching materials, and YouTube videos that modeled the KIA fitness lessons. Intervention fidelity was assessed through observations and a fidelity checklist. Students’ physical activity levels were measured using accelerometers and HRFK was examined by PE Metrics 28-question pencil and paper test. General linear models (GLM) and Hierarchical linear models (HLM) were used to examine group differences. Intervention students had a 3.4 (20%) greater unit improvement in HRFK scores when compared with their comparison counterparts (p < .001), at the school level. Student activity levels of moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) time were similar in both groups (p = .64). Teachers can use the KIA fitness lesson segments or similar strategies to effectively teach HRFK in elementary physical education classes.

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Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel, Rebecca L. Rankin, Chong Lee, Mary E. Charlton, Pamela D. Swan and Barbara E. Ainsworth

Background:

The 400 m walk test has been used in older adults; however, the applicability in middle-aged populations is unknown.

Methods:

Data were obtained from the Evaluation of Physical Activity Measures in Middle-Aged Women (PAW) Study and included 66 women (52.6 ± 5.4 years). Participants were instructed to walk at a brisk, maintainable pace; time taken to complete the 400 m was recorded in seconds. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were used to assess test-retest reliability. Spearman rank order correlation coefficients were used to examine the concurrent validity of the walk test with cardiorespiratory fitness and associations with physical activity, body composition, flexibility, static balance, and muscular fitness, adjusted for age and body mass index.

Results:

Participants completed the walk at visits 4 and 5 in 248.0 and 245.0 seconds, respectively. The walk test had excellent reproducibility [ICC = 0.95 (95% CI: 0.92, 0.97)] and was significantly associated with estimated (ρ = −0.43; P < 0.0001) and measured (ρ = −0.56; P < 0.001) VO2max. The walk test was also significantly related to physical activity, body composition, flexibility, and balance.

Conclusions:

These findings support the utility of the 400 m walk test to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness and reflect free-living physical activity in healthy, middle-aged women.