Do Secondary Sector Physical Education Lessons Support UK Public Health Physical Activity Targets?

Bond, Michael (2019) Do Secondary Sector Physical Education Lessons Support UK Public Health Physical Activity Targets? Masters thesis, Anglia Ruskin University.

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The purpose of this study was to establish the effectiveness of secondary school physical education (PE) lessons, in supporting UK public-health physical activity (PA) recommendations for children and young people. It has been identified that PE as a subject has great potential to support PA targets across whole populations, and the present study aimed to establish how active students are within secondary school PE lessons utilising two methods of PA measurement. The aims of the study were to identify the contribution of PE lessons to daily MVPA attainment across a normal school week, and to analyse MVPA levels within PE lessons to identify how active students are and the influence a number of factors might have on MVPA. The study recruited 32 female and 30 male participants within year 7 at two state-funded secondary schools within Cambridgeshire, and all were fitted with an ActiGraph accelerometer across 5 school days to monitor daily levels of PA. The System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) protocol was also used to provide more contextualised PE lesson information. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was measured using accelerometers across each day, and then analysed to provide a comparison for PE and non-PE days. In addition, the amounts of MVPA within PE lessons were calculated to establish the contribution of PE to daily MVPA levels, and thus PA targets. Students engaged in 20.86 minutes more MVPA on PE days (mean 82.57 + 27.53 minutes) compared to non-PE days (61.71 + 25.80 minutes; p=<0.05). Accelerometer data identified that students were engaged in MVPA within PE lessons for on average 19.34 minutes per lesson (+ 16.94), and that this represented 32.23% of PE lesson time. PE lesson PA analysis via SOFIT identified an average MVPA level of 17.89 minutes (+ 7.77) per lesson at 42.65% of the observation period. Analysis via SOFIT also identified a spectrum of MVPA levels i based on different observed PE activities / lessons, and these ranged from a low of 7.27 minutes of student MVPA up to 29.75 minutes. The data presented within this study highlights the important role that regular PE lessons can have on children’s attainment of daily minimum health-based PA targets. Whilst PE lessons within this study positively contributed to the levels of daily MVPA, it is also recognised that the levels of MVPA per PE lesson were below the levels recommended by various vocational bodies. Recommendations are made in order to encourage PE practitioners and school leaders to consider further their curriculum design and implementation methods, in order to maximise PA alongside subject-based learning outcomes.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Keywords: Physical Education, Physical Activity, Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, Accelerometer, System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time
Faculty: Theses from Anglia Ruskin University
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2021 12:05
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:54

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