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J Phys Act Health. 2014 Jan;11(1):127-35. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2011-0334. Epub 2013 Jan 28.

Physical activity in high school physical education: impact of lesson context and class gender composition.

Author information

1
School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Physical education (PE) is recommended as a source for physical activity (PA) and learning generalizable PA skills. Few studies have objectively examined high school PE, specifically its delivery, including PA, lesson contexts, and class gender composition.

METHODS:

We used the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) to assess PA during 6 lesson contexts in 47 boys-only, 54 girls-only, and 63 coed lessons from 7 high schools. MANOVA assessed differences based on class gender composition.

RESULTS:

Actual lesson length was 27.7 min, only 65% of the scheduled length of class periods. Students engaged in moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA) 54% of the time, with boys being more active than girls. Game play was the most dominant context (47%), and little time was allocated to knowledge and skill development. Class size, lesson length, PA, and lesson contexts all differed by class gender composition (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Many differences in the conduct of high school PE are related to class gender composition. Boys accumulated more MVPA than girls. When held, PE lessons contributed about 25% of recommended daily PA minutes; improvements could be made by increasing allocations to fitness and skill practice and reducing transition and management time. Teacher professional development is warranted.

PMID:
23359370
DOI:
10.1123/jpah.2011-0334
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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