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Nicholas Riley, David R. Lubans, Kathryn Holmes and Philip J Morgan

Background:

To evaluate the impact of a primary school-based physical activity (PA) integration program delivered by teachers on objectively measured PA and key educational outcomes.

Methods:

Ten classes from 8 Australian public schools were randomly allocated to treatment conditions. Teachers from the intervention group were taught to embed movement-based learning in their students’ (n = 142) daily mathematics program in 3 lessons per week for 6 weeks. The control group (n = 98) continued its regular mathematics program. The primary outcome was accelerometer-determined PA across the school day. Linear mixed models were used to analyze treatment effects.

Results:

Significant intervention effects were found for PA across the school day (adjusted mean difference 103 counts per minute [CPM], 95% confidence interval [CI], 36.5–169.7, P = .008). Intervention effects were also found for PA (168 CPM, 95% CI, 90.1–247.4, P = .008) and moderate-to-vigorous PA (2.6%, 95% CI, 0.9–4.4, P = .009) in mathematics lessons, sedentary time across the school day (–3.5%, 95% CI, –7.0 to –0.13, P = .044) and during mathematics (–8.2%, CI, –13.0 to –2.0, P = .010) and on-task behavior (13.8%, 95% CI, 4.0–23.6, P = .011)—but not for mathematics performance or attitude.

Conclusion:

Integrating movement across the primary mathematics syllabus is feasible and efficacious.

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David R. Lubans, Philip J. Morgan, Robin Callister and Clare E. Collins

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between pedometer step counts and estimated VO2max as determined by a submaximal exercise test. Participants (N = 115; 65 girls, 50 boys) wore pedometers for five days and completed the Queen’s College Step Test (QCST). Based on these results participants were classified as HIGH, MOD, or LOW cardiorespiratory fitness. Boys accumulated more steps per day (p < .05) than girls (12,766 ± 4,923 versus 10,887 ± 2,656). The relationship between estimated VO2max and mean steps/day was moderate (r = .34, p < .01). Participants classified as having HIGH fitness levels accumulated more steps/day than LOW-fit adolescents (p < .05). The results from this study suggest that estimated VO2max as determined by a submaximal exercise test is moderately associated with mean steps/day in adolescents.

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Alyce T. Barnes, Ronald C. Plotnikoff, Clare E. Collins and Philip J. Morgan

Background:

The aim was to assess the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a community-based physical activity (PA) intervention targeting mothers and daughters.

Methods:

A randomized controlled trial of 48 primary school-aged girls and their 40 mothers were randomized to (i) Mothers And Daughters Exercising for Life (MADE4Life) (n = 21 mothers, n = 25 daughters) or (ii) wait-list control (n = 19 mothers, n = 23 daughters). The 8-week program involved 8 sessions; 25-minute separate mothers and daughters education sessions and 60-minutes PA together. Assessments were at baseline, postintervention and 3-month postintervention. Primary outcome measure was daughters’ moderateto-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (accelerometer). Secondary outcomes included accelerometer-assessed light/moderate/vigorous PA, BMI, waist circumference, body composition, blood pressure, resting heart rate, sedentary behaviors and mothers’ self-reported PA, parenting measures, and cognitions. Intention-to-treat analysis used linear mixed models.

Results:

Recruitment and retention goals were exceeded. Attendance rates, program acceptability and satisfaction were high. There was no significant group-by-time effect for daughters’ %MVPA (–0.08; 95%CI –1.49, 1.33, d = –0.03) or other secondary outcomes for girls (postintervention range d = 0.01 to –0.46). Significant intervention effects were found for mothers’ %VPA (P = .04, d = 0.25) and role modeling (P = .02, d = 0.66).

Conclusion:

MADE4Life was both feasible and acceptable. Although very small effect sizes were found for the daughters, significant changes were seen for mothers (d = 0.25 to 0.66). Future fully powered trials targeting PA in mothers and daughters is warranted.

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Adam B. Lloyd, David R. Lubans, Ronald C. Plotnikoff and Philip J. Morgan

Background:

This study examined potential parenting-related mediators of children’s physical activity and dietary behavior change in the Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids (HDHK) community program.

Methods:

A randomized controlled trial was conducted with 45 overweight/obese (mean [SD] age = 39.8 [5.4] years; BMI = 32.4 [3.8]) fathers and their children (n = 77; 58% boys; mean [SD] age = 7.7 [2.5] years). Families were randomized to either the HDHK program or wait-list control group. The program involved 7 sessions. Fathers and their children were assessed at baseline and at 14 weeks for physical activity (pedometery) and core food intake (Questionnaire). Fathers’ lifestyle-related parenting practices included; self-efficacy, beliefs, modeling, logistic support, rules, cophysical activity, shared mealtime frequency and intentions.

Results:

Significant intervention effects were found for cophysical activity and modeling physical activity. Cophysical activity mediated children’s physical activity in the intervention (‘mediated effect,’ AB = 653, 95% CI = 4–2050) and was responsible for 59.5% of the intervention effect. Fathers’ beliefs mediated children’s percent energy from core foods (AB = 1.51, 95% CI = 0.05–5.55) and accounted for 72.9% of the intervention effect.

Conclusions:

Participation in the HDHK program positively impacted on fathers’ cophysical activity with their child and beliefs about healthy eating which mediated changes in children’s diet and physical activity behaviors.

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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.

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Don W. Morgan, Wayland Tseh, Jennifer L. Caputo, Ian S. Craig, Daniel J. Keefer and Philip E. Martin

The purpose of this study was to quantify running economy (RE) during level treadmill running in 6-year-old children and to identify the potentially mediating effects of resting oxygen uptake and body fat percentage on sex differences in RE. Resting oxygen uptake (VO2), body fat, and RE at 5 mph were quantified in 15 boys and 20 girls following 30 min of treadmill accommodation. While absolute VO2 and mass-related values of gross and net VO2 were significantly higher in boys compared to girls, gross VO2 expressed relative to fat-free mass was not different between sexes. These results indicate that 6-year-old girls exhibit better RE compared to 6-year-old boys when VO2 is expressed as a function of total body mass. This sex difference in VO2 may reflect an increase in aerobic energy demands associated with the presence of a greater muscle mass in boys.

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Ryan M. Hulteen, Lisa M. Barnett, Philip J. Morgan, Leah E. Robinson, Christian J. Barton, Brian H. Wrotniak and David R. Lubans

Participation in lifelong physical activities, such as yoga, golf, tennis, or running, are common endeavors in adolescence and adulthood. However, there is a lack of understanding of how competent individuals are in the skills needed for these activities and how competency in these skills relates to physical activity and fitness. This study aimed to determine the initial predictive validity of the Lifelong Physical Activity Skills Battery related to physical activity and health-related fitness. One-hundred and nine adolescents from four schools (55 males, 54 females; Mage = 15.82 years, SD = 0.37 years) completed: demographic information (survey), height (stadiometer), weight (digital scale), motor skill assessment (jog, grapevine, squat, push-up, upward dog, warrior one, tennis forehand, golf swing), health-related fitness (standing long jump, back-saver sit and reach, 3-min submaximal step test, 90° push-up test), and physical activity (GENEActiv accelerometers). Correlations and multiple regression models were conducted in SPSS version 24.0. Motor competence was associated with muscular fitness (standing long jump, β = 0.24, p = .002; push-ups, β = 0.42, p < .001), cardiorespiratory fitness (β = 0.21, p = .031), and flexibility (β = 0.23, p = .025), but not physical activity (β = 0.17, p = .154) or body mass index (β = −0.05, p = .622). Motor competence has a stronger association with health-related fitness parameters rather than physical activity.

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Angus A. Leahy, Narelle Eather, Jordan J. Smith, Charles H. Hillman, Philip J. Morgan, Ronald C. Plotnikoff, Michael Nilsson, Sarah A. Costigan, Michael Noetel and David R. Lubans

Purpose: This study was designed to assess the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a teacher-facilitated high-intensity interval training intervention for older adolescents (ie, 16–18 y). Methods: Two secondary schools from New South Wales, Australia were recruited, and participants (ie, grade 11 students; 16.2 [0.4] y) were randomized at the school level to the Burn 2 Learn intervention (n = 38), or a wait-list control group (n = 30). Teachers were trained to facilitate the delivery of the novel high-intensity interval training program, which involved 3 sessions per week (∼12–20 min) for 14 weeks. A range of process measures were used to assess intervention feasibility (ie, recruitment, retention, attendance, and program satisfaction). Primary (cardiorespiratory fitness, determined using the progressive aerobic cardiovascular endurance run shuttle run test) and secondary outcomes were assessed at baseline and posttest (14-wk). Results: Sixty-eight grade 11 students were recruited at baseline (85% of target sample), 61 participants completed posttest assessments (90% retention) and on average, participants performed 1.9 sessions per week. Overall, teachers (4.0/5) and students (4.0/5) were satisfied with the Burn 2 Learn program. Group by time effects were observed for cardiorespiratory fitness (8.9 laps; 95% confidence intervals, 1.7–16.2) and a selection of secondary outcomes. Conclusion: This study provides evidence for the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a teacher-facilitated high-intensity interval training intervention for older adolescents.

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Lisa M. Barnett, David Stodden, Kristen E. Cohen, Jordan J. Smith, David Revalds Lubans, Matthieu Lenoir, Susanna Iivonen, Andrew D. Miller, Arto Laukkanen, Dean Dudley, Natalie J. Lander, Helen Brown and Philip J. Morgan

Purpose:

Recent international conference presentations have critiqued the promotion of fundamental movement skills (FMS) as a primary pedagogical focus. Presenters have called for a debate about the importance of, and rationale for teaching FMS, and this letter is a response to that call. The authors of this letter are academics who actively engage in FMS research.

Method:

We have answered a series of contentions about the promotion of FMS using the peer reviewed literature to support our perspective.

Results:

We define what we mean by FMS, discuss the context of what skills can be considered fundamental, discuss how the development of these skills is related to broader developmental health contexts, and recommend the use of different pedagogical approaches when teaching FMS.

Conclusions:

We conclude the promotion of FMS is an important focus in Physical Education (PE) and sport and provide future research questions for investigation.

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Lisa M. Barnett, Dean A. Dudley, Richard D. Telford, David R. Lubans, Anna S. Bryant, William M. Roberts, Philip J. Morgan, Natasha K. Schranz, Juanita R. Weissensteiner, Stewart A. Vella, Jo Salmon, Jenny Ziviani, Anthony D. Okely, Nalda Wainwright, John R. Evans and Richard J. Keegan

Assessment of physical literacy poses a dilemma of what instrument to use. There is currently no guide regarding the suitability of common assessment approaches. The purpose of this brief communication is to provide a user’s guide for selecting physical literacy assessment instruments appropriate for use in school physical education and sport settings. Although recommendations regarding specific instruments are not provided, the guide offers information about key attributes and considerations for the use. A decision flow chart has been developed to assist teachers and affiliated school practitioners to select appropriate methods of assessing physical literacy. School physical education and sport scenarios are presented to illustrate this process. It is important that practitioners are empowered to select the most appropriate instrument/s to suit their needs.