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Assessment of student engagement, physical activity levels, and body composition in third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade physical education classes

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tiffany M. Fuller (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Tom Martinek

Abstract: The purpose of this research study was to examine levels of physical activity participation in elementary-aged school children who participated in at least a weekly 40-minute physical education class. In doing so, the contribution of physical education classes to daily accumulated physical activity levels among children was determined. More specifically, this research study examined the amount of time children were physically active within forty minute physical education class sessions. This research study also described the types of activities in which children were involved in during and after school. Finally, the link between BMI and physical activity levels were examined. In particular, this study was guided by the following questions: 1. How is instructional time used in third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade physical education classes across three schools? Specifically, what are the mean percentages of time spent in (a) performing activity, (b) receiving information, (c) giving information, (d) waiting, (e) relocating, and (f) other. 2. What are the mean grade, school, and gender differences in physical activity levels and body mass indices of third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students across three schools? 3. What are the various types of physical activities that third-, fourth-, and fifth grade students engage in outside of physical education classes across three schools? 4. What is the relationship between physical activity level and body mass index for third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade male and female students across three schools? The SBE form was used to describe the way that instructional time was used. Specifically, the SBE form was used to code what a student was doing during a physical education class. The student's behavior was coded according to six categories: (a) performs motor activity, (b) receives information, (c) gives information, (d) waits, (e) relocates, and (e) other (Anderson, 1980). The Yamax Digi Walker SW 200 (YX200) pedometers were utilized for this study to measure the number of steps that third, fourth-, and fifth-graders took during physical education classes on three separate class periods. The instrument used to identify the various types of "outside" activities that students were involved in was a modified form of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children (PAQ-C) (Kowalski, Croker, & Dosen, 2004). Lastly, the BMI served as indicator of obesity levels of students. BMI was determined by first obtaining a person's height and weight (Yauss, 2005). The height of each student using a standometer was recorded in centimeters and the weight was measured in kilograms using a digital scale (Health of Meter). The BMI was then determined by using the following formula: BMI=KM/M². Conclusions Based on this study's findings the following conclusions were made: 1. Overall, it was found that students spent less than half of their instructional time in being physically active. Much of the inactive time was spent listening to the teacher and waiting to engage in an activity. However, when grade level was considered the amount of motor activity somewhat increased. The increase was especially evident in the third- and fifth-graders. 2. Teachers differed in terms of the way they organized their instructional time. Woodson's teacher instructional time was organized in a way that more than half of the time was spent in non motor engaged activities. Students at Mercy and Richmond Elementary School spent the higher amounts of instructional time performing motor activity. 3. The third-graders at Richmond Elementary School spent the highest amount of instructional time in performing motor activity, while the fourth graders spent the least amount of time in performing motor activity. The third-graders and fifth-graders at Woodson Elementary School spent the highest amount of time in performing motor activity. The fifth-graders at Mercy Elementary School had the highest amount of time in performing motor activity. 4. Females at Richmond Elementary School spent the same amount of instructional time as males in performing motor activity. However, differences between male and females were more prevalent when examining individual schools. At Woodson Elementary School males spent a higher amount of instructional time in performing motor activity than females. Lastly, at Mercy Elementary School feales spent more instructional time than males and they both spent over half the instructional time in performing motor activity. s found that males took more average steps per minute than females. It was found that third graders took more steps per minute than the fourth- and fifthgraders. Lastly, it was found that students at Mercy received the highest among of steps per minute, while Richmond received the lowest. 6. It was found that a grade by school interaction was significant (p < .05). It was reported that third-graders at Richmond were greater than fourth- and fifth-graders at Richmond. It was reported that fifth-graders at Woodson were greater than third- and fourth-graders at Woodson. Lastly, it was reported that fifth-graders at Mercy were less than third- and fourth-graders at Mercy. 7. When ranking the preferences for physical activity outside of physical education classes for all schools and all grades it was found that students spent their average time in this ranking order: (a) Jogging, (b) Walking, (c) Dancing, (d) Playing Tag, and (e) Skipping. The third and fifth-graders ranked jogging as their top activity while the fourth graders ranked walking as their top activity. Overall all grades were interested in aerobic activity. Girls and boys also chose jogging as their top activity, while the boys chose basketball as their second choice. Girls chose walking as their d choice. As far as schools were concerned, Richmond chose walking as their top, while Woodson Elementary School and Mercy Elementary School chose jogging as their top choice of physical activity. 8. When correlating the physical activity level and BMI for all 120 subjects, an inverse correlation was found to be significant at (p < .05). It indicated that the higher the levels of physical activity, the lower the BMI scores. When compared across gender, the relationship was different in males and females. In males the linear inverse relationship between BMI and physical activity was much stronger. However in males, BMI and levels of physical activity did not appear to be significantly related. 9. There was also an inverse relationship between BMI and physical activity levels at each of the three schools in this study. The correlation was significant only at Richmond Elementary School. This was because of the artifact of a smaller sample size at the other two schools. 10. There was an inverse linear relationship between BMI and physical activity at each of the three grade levels. Although statistically significant in grade five the inverse relationships in the other two grades were weak and non significant.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
Education\Health
Subjects
Physical education for children $x Evaluation.
Physical fitness $x Children.
Body Mass Index.
Exercise.