The purpose of the present study was to examine the association between fundamental motor skill development and various types of outside-school physical activity. Outside-school physical activity of 133 elementary schoolchildren was measured using a modified observational method validated by O’Hara et al. (18) and Caltrac accelerometers (Hemokinetics, Madison, Wisconsin). Developmental level of overhand throwing and jumping was assessed using total-body developmental sequences. The results revealed that developmental levels of both overhand throwing and jumping were significantly correlated with the skill-specific physical activity (r = .44 and .55 for overhand throwing and jumping, respectively). Caltrac score was not significantly related to jumping and overhand throwing skills. Skill-specific physical activities accounted for 20% of the variance (adjusted R 2) in overhand throwing and 17% of the variance in jumping performance. Findings supported the hypothesis that developmental level of fundamental motor skills would be related with skill-specific outside-school physical activity but not with general level of physical activity of elementary schoolchildren.
Lennart Raudsepp and Peep Päll
Cheng-Hsiu Lai, Yin-Lan Tsai, Shih-Wei Chou, Fon-Chin Lin, Chung-Yu Chen, Shu-Man Chen, Wen-Chih Lee, Yi-Hung Liao, and Chia-Hua Kuo
The majority of schoolchildren with asthma do not participate in regular physical activity due to a risk of exercise-induced asthma. The aim of the study was to determine the glycemic characteristic of Taiwanese children with persistent asthma. The current study found that children with asthma (age 10.4 ± 0.4 years) exhibited lower whole-body insulin sensitivity and poorer physical fitness compared to children without asthma (age 10.9 ± 0.6 years). Postprandial glucose and insulin, BMI, and waist circumference of the children with asthma were greater than those of the healthy children. Four patients with asthma regularly participating in a permissible amount of physical activity exhibited lower postprandial glucose and insulin levels compared to those of the rest of the children with asthma who were totally lacking physical activity. A permissible amount of physical activity appears to be beneficial for children with asthma in the prevention of the early onset of insulin resistance.
Non-Eleri Thomas, Stephen-Mark Cooper, Simon P. Williams, Julien S. Baker, and Bruce Davies
The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between aerobic fitness (AF), fatness, and coronary-heart-disease (CHD) risk factors in 12- to 13-year-olds. The data were obtained from 208 schoolchildren (100 boys; 108 girls) ages 12.9 ± 0.3 years. Measurements included AF, indices of obesity, blood pressure, blood lipids and lipoproteins, fibrinogen, homocysteine, and C-reactive protein. An inverse relationship was found between AF and fatness (p < .05). Fatness was related to a greater number of CHD risk factors than fitness was (p < .05). Further analysis revealed fatness to be an independent predictor of triglyceride and blood-pressure levels (p < .05). Our findings indicate that, for young people, fatness rather than fitness is independently related to CHD risk factors.
Michael J. Duncan, Lorayne Woodfield, Yahya Al-Nakeeb, and Alan M. Nevill
The purpose of this study was to compare physical activity levels between white and South Asian children in the UK. The data were obtained from 606, 11–14 year old schoolchildren (397 white; 209 Asian). Physical activity was assessed using the ‘four by one day’ recall questionnaire from which the time spent in moderate and vigorous physical activity was calculated. Boys were significantly more active than girls (p = .0001), and white children reported significantly greater physical activity than south Asian children (p = .001). Mean ± SD of time spent in moderate and vigorous activity was 90.2 ± 65.4 mins and 68.2 ± 49.3 mins for white and south Asian children and 103.5 ± 63.4 mins and 65.6 ± 53.5 mins for boys and girls respectively. These findings indicate that south Asian children are significantly less active than their white peers and there may be a need for specific interventions to target South Asian children particularly.
Terence Dwyer, James F. Sallis, Leigh Blizzard, Ross Lazarus, and Kimberlie Dean
The objective of this study was to examine the association of scholastic performance with physical activity and fitness of children. To do so, school ratings of scholastic ability on a five-point scale for a nationally representative sample of 7,961 Australian schoolchildren aged 7–15 years were compared with physical activity and fitness measurements. Consistently across age and sex groups, the ratings were significantly correlated with questionnaire measures of physical activity and with performance on the 1.6-kilometer run, sit-ups and push-ups challenges, 50-meter sprint, and standing long jump. There were no significant associations for physical work capacity at a heart rate of 170 (PWC170). The results are concordant with the hypothesis that physical activity enhances academic performance, but the cross-sectional nature of the observations limits causal inference, and the disparity for PWC170 gives reason to question whether the associations were due to measurement bias or residual confounding.
Nikos Ntoumanis, Anne-Marte Pensgaard, Chris Martin, and Katie Pipe
The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth account of amotivation in compulsory school physical education by examining its major causes, the way it is displayed, and how it can be tackled. From an initial participant pool of 390 British schoolchildren ages 14 to 15 years, 21 of them (15 girls and 6 boys) were selected to participate in semi-structured interviews. They were categorized as being amotivated based on their responses to a questionnaire measuring motivation in physical education. Three main perceived causes of amotivation were identified in the interviews: learned helplessness beliefs, low need satisfaction, and contextual factors. Amotivation was mainly displayed by nonattendance, low involvement in the class, and low intention to be physically active after leaving school. Students’ suggestions for reducing amotivation focused on the enhancement of positive affect, need satisfaction, and structural/organizational changes. The findings are discussed in conjunction with contemporary motivation theories and models of amotivation.
Serge Berthoin, Georges Baquet, Fabienne Mantéca, Ghislaine Lensel-Corbeil, and Michel Gerbeaux
A cross-sectional design was used to study the associations among sex, age, maximal aerobic speed (MAS), and running time to exhaustion at 100% of MAS (Tlim). The subjects were 1,448 schoolchildren (685 males and 763 females) ages 6 to 17 years. The MAS of males increased significantly (p < .001) from 6 (9.0 ± 0.8 km · h−1) to 17 years (14.1 ± 1.6 km · h−1). The MAS of females increased significantly (p < .001) from 6 (8.7 ± 0.6 km · h−1) to 12 years (10.7 ± 1.2 km · h−1), then remained relatively constant at approximately 11 km · h−1 between 12 and 17 years. Tlim increased significantly from 6 to 13 years for males and from 6 to 11 years for females, then remained relatively constant around 350 s for both males and females.
Maria L. Zonderland, Wietze B.M. Erich, Wouter Kortlandt, and D. Willem Erkelens
A 3-year controlled intervention was used to study the influence of physical activity on the plasma lipid and apoprotein profile of 10-year-old Dutch schoolchildren. Twice-a-year measurements were taken of height, weight, body composition (skinfolds), pubertal development (Tanner stages), total cholesterol (TC), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), apoproteins A-I and B (immunoturbidimetry), and participation in physical activities. The effect of the intervention was analyzed with a MANOVA. The intervention did not affect the level of the lipids and apoproteins of the boys. In the girls, the intervention led to a smaller increase of TG and a larger decrease of apoprotein A-I. There may be two explanations for the limited intervention effect. First, it may be due to the healthy baseline plasma lipid and apoprotein profile, which leaves little room for improvement. Second, the exercise intensity during the physical education classes may have been too low to bring about the desired effect.
Jim Dollman, Kevin Norton, and Graeme Tucker
The aim of this study was to compare urban and rural South Australian primary schoolchildren on measures of anthropometry, fitness, and environmental mediators of physical activity. The sample was comprised of 445 urban and 205 rural boys and 423 urban and 158 rural girls, all age 10–11 yrs at the time of testing. After controlling for socioeconomic status and ethnicity, rural girls and boys were faster over 1.6 k than their urban counterparts while rural girls were also faster over 50 m. Rural residence independently predicted participation in organized activity, increasing involvement in club sport, and decreasing involvement in school sport. Rural children reported a greater likelihood of participating in two or more physical education classes per week. It is evident that urban and rural South Australia differ in ways which impact on fitness and physical activity patterns of upper primary age children.
The purpose of this study was to assess the physical activity levels of schoolchildren during physical education lessons, using heart rate telemetry. Girls (n = 108) and boys (n = 69), age 9 to 15 years, were assessed over 66 physical education lessons. Lessons that achieved a heart rate (HR) of ≥ 150 bpm for 20 minutes or 50% of lesson time were deemed sufficiently active to promote cardiorespiratory fitness. Netball, 11- to 12-year-old girls’ gymnastics, and soccer lessons achieved the HR ≥ 150 level for over 50% of lesson time. A Sex × Age × Lesson Activity ANOVA indicated significant overall interaction for sex, age, and lesson activity for the percentage of lesson time spent in HR ≥ 150. Significant differences between age groups and lesson activities were evident. Invasion games seem more likely to attain MVPA goals than are dance, track and field, fitness, or gymnastics lessons.