Contribution of the School Environment to Physical Fitness in Children and Youth

Kelly, Inas Rashad; Phillips, Mary Ann; Revels, Michelle; Ujamaa, Dawud
May 2010
Journal of Physical Activity & Health;May2010, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p333
Academic Journal
Background: This study analyzed the effect of school practices regarding the provision of physical education (PE) on the physical fitness of children and youth. Methods: Using an untapped sample of approximately 5000 5th and 7th graders from 93 schools in Georgia in 2006, individual-level and merged school-level data on physical education were analyzed. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted to estimate the potential influence of the school environment on measured health outcomes. Controls were included for grade, gender, race/ethnicity, urbanicity, and county of residence. Results: Variables measuring 8 school-level practices pertaining to physical education were found to have significant effects on cardiovascular fitness as measured by the FitnessGram, with signs in the expected direction. These variables, combined with demographic variables, explained 29.73% of the variation in the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run but only 4.53% of the variation in the body mass index. Conclusions: School-level variables pertaining to PE practices were collectively strong predictors of physical fitness, particularly cardiovascular fitness. Schools that adopt these policies will likely encourage favorable physical activity habits that may last into adulthood. Future research should examine the causal relationships among physical education practices, physical activity, and health outcomes.


Related Articles

  • Engaging Community Providers to Create More Active After-School Environments: Results From the Ontario CATCH Kids Club Implementation Project. Sharpe, Erin K.; Forrester, Scott; Mandigo, James // Journal of Physical Activity & Health;Jan2011 Supplement 1, Vol. 8, pS26 

    Background: This paper evaluates the impact of a large-scale, community agency-driven initiative to increase physical activity (PA) in after-school programs in Ontario. In 2008, the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club (BGC) introduced CATCH Kids Club (CKC) into 330 after-school program sites. Methods:...

  • Day Length and Weather Effects on Children's Physical Activity and Participation in Play, Sports, and Active Travel. Goodman, Anna; Paskins, James; Mackett, Roger // Journal of Physical Activity & Health;Oct2012, Vol. 9 Issue 8, p1105 

    Background: Children in primary school are more physically active in the spring/summer. Little is known about the relative contributions of day length and weather, however, or about the underlying behavioral mediators. Methods: 325 British children aged 8 to 11 wore accelerometers as an...

  • Physical Activity and Sedentary Activity Patterns Among Children and Adolescents: A Latent Class Analysis Approach. Patnode, Carrie D.; Lytle, Leslie A.; Erickson, Darin J.; Sirard, John R.; Barr-Anderson, Daheia J.; Story, Mary // Journal of Physical Activity & Health;May2011, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p457 

    Background: While much is known about the overall levels of physical activity and sedentary activity among youth, few studies have attempted to define clusters of such behaviors. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe unique classes of youth based on their participation in a...

  • Step Counts of 10- to 11-Year-Old Children by Ethnicity and Metropolitan Status. Johnson, Tyler G.; Brusseau, Timothy A.; Graser, Susan Vincent; Darst, Paul W.; Kulinna, Pamela H. // Journal of Physical Activity & Health;May2010, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p355 

    Background: The purpose of this study was to conduct a secondary analysis by combining 2 pedometer data sets to describe and analyze pedometer-determined steps/day of children by ethnicity and metropolitan status. Methods: Participants were 582 children (309 girls, 273 boys; 53% Hispanic, 26%...

  • Monitoring of Physical Activity in Young Children: How Much Is Enough? Penpraze, Victoria; Reilly, John J.; MacLean, Christina M.; Montgomery, Colette; Kelly, Louise A.; Paton, James Y.; Altchison, Thomas; Grant, Stan // Pediatric Exercise Science;Nov2006, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p483 

    There is limited evidence on how much and on which days accelerometry monitoring should be performed to obtain a representative measurement of physical activity (PA) in young children. We measured 76 children (40 M and 36 F, mean age 5.6 years ([SD ± 0.4]) on 7 days using Actigraph...

  • School Performance, Lack of Facilities, and Safety Concerns: Barriers to Parents' Support of Their Children's Physical Activity. Davison, Kirsten Krahnstoever // American Journal of Health Promotion;May/Jun2009, Vol. 23 Issue 5, p315 

    Purpose. To identify barriers to parents' support of their children's physical activity (PA) and to develop a survey to assess such barriers. Methods. Eighty-two parents (40 white; 36 African-American; 6 other) of elementary school-aged children participated in small-group interviews. Parents...

  • Girls on the Run: A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of a Developmentally Focused Youth Sport Program. Gabriel, Kelley K. Pettee; DeBate, Rita DiGioacchino; High, Robin R.; Racine, Elizabeth F. // Journal of Physical Activity & Health;Aug2011 Supplement, pS285 

    Background: Evidence supporting the effectiveness of a developmental-focused youth sport (DYS) program designed exclusively for elementary school aged girls is mounting. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of on the Girls on the Run program on psychological and physical assets...

  • Defining Accelerometer Thresholds for Physical Activity in Girls Using ROC Analysis. Alhassan, Sofiya; Robinson, Thomas N. // Journal of Physical Activity & Health;Jan2010, Vol. 7 Issue 1, p45 

    Background: Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis is a common method used in diagnostic and screening tests to define thresholds levels of a factor that discriminates between 2 levels of another factor. The purpose of this analysis was to use ROC analysis to determine the optimal...

  • Test-Retest Reliability of a Preadolescent Environmental Access to Physical Activity Questionnaire. Erwin, Heather Elizabeth // Journal of Physical Activity & Health;Jan2008 Supplement, Vol. 5, pS62 

    Background: Physical activity behavior is an important aspect of overall health, and it is important to understand determinants of physical activity in order for children to accumulate the recommended levels. The ecological-systems theory describes the relationship between individuals and their...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics