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Xihe Zhu and Justin A. Haegele

to impact health-related behavior change among children is health-related fitness knowledge ( Ferkel, Judge, Stodden, & Griffin, 2014 ; Keating, Chen, Guan, Harrison, & Dauenhauer, 2009 ; Stewart & Mitchell, 2003 ). Health-related fitness knowledge can be defined as one’s knowledge of his or her

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Emily M. D’Agostino, Sophia E. Day, Kevin J. Konty, Michael Larkin, Subir Saha and Katarzyna Wyka

Research has shown that decreases in health-related fitness (fitness) may increase school absenteeism. 1 , 2 The fitness-physical activity association is well established, 3 including an improved cardiometabolic risk profile in youth who engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. 4

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Lois Michaud Tomson, Robert P. Pangrazi, Glenn Friedman and Ned Hutchison

While research has confirmed a negative relationship between adult depression and physical activity, there is little evidence for children. This study examined the relationship of being classified as physically active or inactive by a parent or a teacher to depressive symptoms in children 8 to 12 years of age (N = 933). It also assessed the relationship of playing sports outside of school, and of meeting health related fitness standards, to symptoms of depression. Relative risk of depressive symptoms for inactive classification was 2.8 to 3.4 times higher than it was for active, 1.3 to 2.4 times higher for children not playing sports outside of school, and 1.5 to 4.0 times higher for those not meeting health related fitness goals.

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You Fu and Ryan D. Burns

There is evidence suggesting that active video gaming (AVG) has the potential to improve both health behaviors (eg, physical activity) and health-related fitness (eg, body composition, cardiorespiratory endurance) in children and adolescents. 1 – 3 Mechanisms to achieve these benefits include

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Peter A. Hastie, Senlin Chen and Anthony J. Guarino

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to examine the process and outcome of an intervention using the project-based learning (PBL) model to increase students’ health-related fitness (HRF) knowledge.

Method:

The participants were 185 fifth-grade students from three schools in Alabama (PBL group: n = 109; control group: n = 76). HRF knowledge was measured using a valid written test.

Results:

Using a two-level Hierarchical Linear Model (HLM) where students were nested within teachers’ classrooms, the results show that controlling for “Class” there was a statistically significant difference between the two group conditions with the PBL cohort scoring 18.85% greater than the control schools at posttest.

Discussion:

The findings have shown supportive evidence as to the efficacy of a PBL-themed fitness education unit.

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Darla Castelli and Lori Williams

This study examined what teachers know about health-related fitness (HRF) and how confident they are in their knowledge. Seventy-three middle school physical education teachers completed a 3-part cognitive HRF test and a self-efficacy questionnaire that required responses to statements about how confident they were in passing a HRF knowledge test. Results indicated that teachers were very confident in their knowledge of HRF; however, their actual HRF test scores did not meet the standard of achievement expected of a ninth-grade student as assessed by the South Carolina Physical Education Assessment Program. Further investigation of the influence of teacher characteristics related to HRF knowledge revealed that age and years of teaching experience significantly related to self-efficacy but not to HRF knowledge. This study implies that targeted teacher development is a necessary part of attaining and maintaining HRF knowledge required to teach to state and national standards.

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Han Chen, Haichun Sun, Jun Dai and Michael Griffin

Purpose:

The purpose of the study was to identify gender and body weight differences in Chinese adolescents’ perceived expectancy value (EV) motivation in their physical education (PE) class. The study also explored the relationship between EV and adolescents’ health-related fitness performances.

Method:

A group of seventh and eighth graders (N = 224) from China were measured on EV toward PE as well as health-related fitness levels. A two-way MANOVA test was used to examine gender and body weight differences in EV motivations. Several two-step hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between EV motivation and various fitness performances while controlling for the effects of gender and body weight.

Results:

Boys had higher expectancy beliefs and perceived their PE class as more interesting, useful, and important than girls did. Compared with overweight/obese students, students in the healthy weight group reported higher expectancy beliefs. When the effects of gender and body weight were accounted for, expectancy beliefs were the only reliable predictor influencing adolescents’ cardiorespiratory as well as muscular strength/endurance fitness levels.

Discussion/Conclusion:

Physical educators should use various teaching strategies to enhance students’ expectancy beliefs and task values. This is especially important for female students and overweight/obese students.

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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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Xiaofen Deng Keating, Louis Harrison, Li Chen, Ping Xiang, Dolly Lambdin, Brian Dauenhauer, Willy Rotich and Jose Castro Piñero

Although substantial inquiry has been made into fitness levels of students, there has been scant examination of knowledge in this domain. This article seeks to review and analyze research on student health-related fitness (HRF) knowledge mastery in K–16 programs by examining studies published in the literature. Two major results emerging from the work are misconceptions about fitness and the lack of an adequate amount of HRF knowledge among students at all educational levels (i.e., elementary, secondary, and college). These results were essentially the same as those found more than 20 years ago, indicating a persistent deficiency in fitness education. In addition, little is understood as to how HRF knowledge contributes to the establishment of lifetime physical activity patterns. Student HRF knowledge determinants as well as effective instructional strategies also need thorough study. Based on these findings, implications for improving student HRF knowledge through physical education are discussed, and recommendations for future research are included.

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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.