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J Sch Health. 2006 Feb;76(2):74-9.

An integrated curriculum approach to increasing habitual physical activity in children: a feasibility study.

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1
Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, HR (AR Block), Auckland University of Technology, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1020, New Zealand. melody.oliver@aut.ac.nz

Abstract

A relatively new concept is that of "integrating" physical activity throughout the school curriculum, thereby teaching children about lifestyle physical activity in a variety of contexts. One method by which this may be achieved is by utilizing pedometers as a motivational and educational tool for measuring accumulated physical activity. No research is available that shows in-depth integration of physical activity into the curriculum or that investigates the efficacy of pedometer use for this purpose. The purposes of this study were to (1) design and implement a 4-week elementary school curriculum unit, based around pedometer walking and (2) quantify, using pedometry, the physical activity levels of children (N = 78) prior to, and during, the unit implementation. Results showed that more than one half of the participants were achieving >15,000 steps daily, and children were significantly more active on weekdays than weekends (p = .0001). Boys were more active than girls at baseline (p = .01) and during intervention weekdays (p = .03). Differences between baseline and intervention weekdays were nonsignificant for the complete sample; however, significant increases in step counts were observed when the children with low activity levels, especially females, were examined separately. Overall, the integration of physical activity using pedometer-based activities is feasible. However, any increases in activity may be restricted to children who are least active.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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