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Collin A. Webster, Heather Buchan, Melanie Perreault, Rob Doan, Panayiotis Doutis and Robert G. Weaver

Despite its recommended use, physical activity promotion in the academic classroom (PAPAC) has received little attention in terms of the factors that help to facilitate it. In this study, a social learning perspective was adopted to examine the role of physical activity biographies in generalist classroom teachers’ (CTs) PAPAC. CTs (N = 213) were assessed on their satisfaction with personal K-12 physical education (PE) experiences, perceived physical activity competence, self-reported physical activity, perceived PAPAC competence, and self-reported PAPAC. Structural equation modeling supported the hypothesized relationships between variables. Specifically, PE satisfaction predicted physical activity competence, which in turn predicted physical activity. Subsequently, physical activity predicted PAPAC competence, which predicted PAPAC. The specified model explained 41% of the variance in PAPAC, with PAPAC competence being the largest contributor. This study provides useful information for designing interventions to increase PAPAC, as it stresses the need to identify strategies that improve CTs’ physical activity-related, and PAPAC-related self-perceptions.

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Robert G. Weaver, Aaron Beighle, Heather Erwin, Michelle Whitfield, Michael W. Beets and James W. Hardin

Background: Direct observation protocols may introduce variability in physical activity estimates. Methods: Thirty-five physical education lessons were video recorded and coded using the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT). A multistep process examined variability in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA%; walking + vigorous/total scans). Initially, per-SOFIT protocol MVPA% (MVPA%SOFIT) estimates were produced for each lesson. Second, true MVPA% (mean MVPA% of all students using all observations, MVPA%true) estimates were calculated. Third, MVPA% (MVPA%perm) was calculated based on all permutations of students and observation order. Fourth, physical education lessons were divided into 2 groups with 5 lessons from each group randomly selected 10,000 times. Group MVPA%perm differences between the 10 selected lessons were compared with the MVPA%true difference between group 1 and group 2. Results: Across all lessons, 10,212,600 permutations were possible (average 291,789 combinations per lesson; range = 73,440–570,024). Across lessons, the average absolute difference between MVPA%true and MVPA%SOFIT estimates was ±4.8% (range = 0.1%–17.5%). Permutations, based on students selected and observation order, indicated that the mean range of MVPA%perm estimates was 41.6% within a lesson (range = 29.8%–55.9%). Differences in MVPA% estimates between the randomly selected groups of lessons varied by 32.0%. Conclusion: MVPA% estimates from focal child observation should be interpreted with caution.

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Michael W. Beets, Robert G. Weaver, Aaron Beighle, Collin Webster and Russell R. Pate


Summer day camps (SDC) represent one of the largest settings, outside the academic school year, where children can engage in safe, enjoyable physical activity (PA). Yet, little is known about this setting and how active children are while attending.


System for Observing Play and Leisure Activity in Youth was used to categorize PA of boys/girls as Sedentary/Walking/Vigorous across multiple days (8 AM to 6 PM) in 4 large-scale community-based SDCs. Contextual characteristics of type of activity, activity management, equipment, and in/outdoors were collected simultaneously. Mixed-model regression analyses examined associations between PA categories and contextual characteristics.


A total of 4649 scans of 2462 children were made across 27 days in the SDCs. Physical activity opportunities represented 38% of the daily schedule. Overall, 74%–79%, 13%–16%, and 7%–9% of children were observed Sedentary, Walking, or Vigorous during the SDC, and this changed to 62%–67%, 18%–19%, and 15%–18% observed Sedentary, Walking, or Vigorous during PA opportunities. Water-based PA, equipment, and free-play were related to increased PA. Children waiting-in-line for turns, staff instructing, and organized PA were related to increased sedentary.


These findings provide evidence of modifiable characteristics of SDCs associated with PA. Improving staff skills related to facilitating active environments is a viable avenue to increase PA accumulated within SDCs.

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Jessica L. Chandler, Keith Brazendale, Clemens Drenowatz, Justin B. Moore, Xuemei Sui, Robert G. Weaver and Michael W. Beets

Background: The primary purpose of this study was to determine which physical activity (PA) opportunity elicits the most moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) in after-school programs. This study used a 3-group cross-over design in which participants were exposed to 3 variations of activity structures: free play, organized, or a mixture. Methods: PA was measured using ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometers. All data were transformed into percentage of time spent sedentary or in MVPA. Repeated-measures mixed-effects models were used to examine differences in MVPA and sedentary among the 3 activity sessions. Participants included 197 unique children, aged 5–12 years, and were 53% male and 55% white. Results: Statistically significant differences were observed in the percentage of time boys spent in MVPA during free play and mixed compared with organized only sessions (35.8% and 34.8% vs 29.4%). No significant difference was observed in the percentage of time girls spent in MVPA during free play compared with organized or mixed (27.2% and 26.1% vs 26.1%). Both boys and girls experienced ∼10% less time sedentary during free play compared with the others. Conclusion: Offering free play during PA opportunities can help children attain as much if not more MVPA compared with only offering organized, adult-led games.