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Jennifer Faison-Hodge and David L. Porretta

This study compared physical education and recess physical activity levels of elementary school age students with mild mental retardation (MR) and students without disabilities who possessed either high or low cardiorespiratory fitness. For this study, the System for Observing Fitness Instructional Time (SOFIT), a measure of physical activity, was validated for students with mild MR. A significant difference for moderate to vigorous physical activity was obtained between settings. Findings suggest that students with MR and those without disabilities were more active during recess than during physical education. Students with mild MR and those with low cardiorespiratory fitness performed similarly in both the physical education and recess settings.

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Chien-Yu Pan

This study compared moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and students without disabilities during inclusive physical education and recess. Students (7–12 years) wore a uniaxial accelerometer in school for 5 consecutive school days. Results indicated a significant difference between settings, F(1,46) = 15.94,p < .01, partial eta2 = 0.26, observed power = 0.97. Students with and without ASD spent a higher proportion of time in MVPA during physical education than during recess, relative to the amount of time spent in those settings. In addition, structured physical education offers opportunities to increase students’ MVPA engagement.

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Peter A. Hastie and Stewart G. Trost

The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which sport education can provide students with sufficient opportunities for developing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Nineteen seventh-grade boys (average age = 12.9 yrs.) participated in a 22-lesson season of floor hockey. For all students (both higher and lower skilled), students averaged a total of 31.6 min of MVPA during the season, or 63.2% of lesson time. Further, there was no significant difference according to skill level {33.4 min (Higher) vs. 30.4 min (Lower), nor were there any significant differences in MVPA levels across the phases of the season.

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Russell Jago, Robert G. McMurray, Stanley Bassin, Laura Pyle, Steve Bruecker, John M. Jakicic, Esther Moe, Tinker Murray and Stella L. Volpe

Two pilot studies were conducted to examine whether 6th grade students can achieve moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) from 1) activity-based physical education (AB-PE) with 585 participants and 2) a curricular-based (CB-PE) program with 1,544 participants and randomly sampled heart rates during lessons. AB-PE participants spent between 54–66% with a heart rate >140 bpm. CB-PE participants spent between 49–58% with a heart rate >140 bpm. Girls’ mean heart rate was 3.7 bpm lower than the boys. PE can be readily modified so that students spend more than 50% of time in MVPA.

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Karin A. Pfeiffer, Marsha Dowda, Kerry L. McIver and Russell R. Pate

This study examined correlates of objectively measured physical activity (PA) in a diverse sample of preschool children (age 3–5 years; n = 331). Accelerometer min·hr−1 of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and nonsedentary activity (NSA) were the outcome measures. Correlations among potential correlates and PA ranged from r = −0.12−0.26. Correlates in the final MVPA model were age, race, sex, BMI Z score, and parent perception of athletic competence, explaining 37% of the variance. The NSA model included the latter two variables, explaining 35% of the variance. Demographic factors were correlates of PA; parent perceptions of children’s competence may be important regarding preschoolers’ PA.

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Mathew Yao, Izabella Ludwa, Lauren Corbett, Panagiota Klentrou, Peter Bonsu, Kimberley Gammage and Bareket Falk

Bone properties, reflected by speed of sound (SOS), and physical activity levels were examined in overweight (OW) girls (n = 19) and adolescents (n = 22), in comparison with normal-weight (NW) girls (n = 21) and adolescents (n = 13). Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was higher in NW than in OW in both age groups. Tibial SOS was lower in OW compared with NW in both age groups. MVPA correlated with tibial SOS, once age was partialed out. The results suggest that overweight girls and adolescents are characterized by low tibial SOS, which may be partially attributed to lower physical activity levels.

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Mark A. Sarzynski, Joey C. Eisenmann, Gregory J. Welk, Jared Tucker, Kim Glenn, Max Rothschild and Kate Heelan

The present study examined the association between the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism, physical activity, and resting blood pressure (BP) in a sample of 132 children (48.4% female). Children attaining 60 min/day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) possessed lower % body fat (29% vs 24%, p < .05). Resting BP did not significantly differ between genotypes. Furthermore, partial correlations between MVPA and BP were low and did not vary by ACE genotype. Thus, the ACE I/D genotype is not associated with BP and does not modify the relationship between physical activity and BP in this sample of children.

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Greet Cardon and Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij

In this study, daily step counts were recorded for 4 consecutive days in 129 four- and five-year-old children. To compare daily Yamax Digiwalker step counts with minutes of engagement in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), concurrent accelerometer data were collected in a random subsample (n = 76). The average daily step count was 9,980 (± 2,605). Step counts and MVPA minutes were strongly correlated (r = .73, p < .001). The daily step count of 13,874, equating to 1-hr MVPA engagement, was reached by 8% of the children. Daily step counts in preschool children give valid information on physical activity levels—daily step counts in preschoolers are low.

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Stuart Fairclough and Gareth Stratton

Forty studies reporting physical activity during middle and high school physical education (PE) classes were reviewed. Students engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) for 27% to 47% of class time. Intervention strategies were successful in increasing MVPA. During nonintervention classes the highest levels of MVPA occurred in invasion games and fitness activities. Movement activities stimulated the lowest levels. Boys and girls spent 40% of class time in MVPA. Differences in MVPA during PE were also methodology dependent. PE classes can complement other school-based opportunities to contribute to young people’s daily physical activity.

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Timothy A. Brusseau, James Hannon and Ryan Burns


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) on physical activity and health-related fitness (HRF) in children from low-income families.


Participants included 1390 children recruited from kindergarten through sixth grade (mean age = 8.4 ± 1.8 years). Physical activity measures were collected at baseline and at 6 weeks and 12 weeks after program implementation, and HRF measures were collected at baseline and at 12 weeks after program implementation.


There were significant but weak-to-moderate increases in step counts (mean difference = 603.1 steps, P < .001, d = 0.39) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (mean difference = 4.9 minutes, P < .001, d = 0.39) at 12 weeks compared with baseline. There were also significant but moderate increases in Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run laps (mean difference = 6.5 laps, P < .001, d = 0.47) at 12 weeks compared with baseline. Generalized mixed models respectively yielded 3.02 and 2.34 greater odds that a child would achieve step count and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity standards and 2.26 greater odds that a child would achieve aerobic fitness standards at 12 weeks compared with baseline (P < .001).


The 12-week CSPAP improved physical activity and HRF in children from low-income families; however, the magnitude of the effects was weak to moderate.