Research Study Abstract

Physical Education & Recess MVPA in Low SES Elementary School Children

  • Presented on May 29, 2014

Background: The physical activity guidelines for Americans call for children and adolescents to participate in 60 minutes of MVPA daily. For most children, especially those with low socioeconomic status (SES), the school environment has been identified as the best suited to provide MVPA opportunities.

Purpose: To examine the time spent in MVPA during physical education and recess in elementary children attending a low SES school.

Methods: Twenty-five children, 9.44 ± 1.61 yr, participated in the study. Physical activity during physical education and recess were measured by accelerometry. Accelerometers were worn around the waist by all children during physical education and recess on two separate days during the same week. Accelerometer epoch length was set at 15 seconds.Activity count thresholds were used to determine the amount of time spent in MVPA. Thresholds were set at ≥ 400 – ≤ 1189 counts for moderate and ≥ 1190 counts for vigorous per 15-second epoch, respectively. Total absolute (minute) and relative (percentage) MVPA time spent within physical education and recess were used for analysis. To account for unequal recess durations, a repeated measures one-way ANOVA was used to compare relative MVPA time among the four sessions.

Results: Minutes spent in MVPA during the two physical education sessions were 14 ± 3.82 (day 1) and 13.08 ± 2.66 (day 2). Minutes spent in MVPA during the two recess sessions were 9.99 ± 5.94 (day 1) and 12.29 ± 5.67 (day2). Relative MVPA time for physical education sessions 1 & 2 were 45 ± 16 and 44 ± 8.7 percent, respectively. Relative MVPA time for recess sessions 1 & 2 were 33 ± 23 and 44 ± 19 percent, respectively. Physical education session 1 was significantly different from recess session 1 (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Elementary schools should consider more ways to encourage physical activity throughout the school day, especially for children who are low SES and who may have few opportunities outside of the school setting to engage in MVPA.

Presented at

ACSM 2014 Annual Meeting


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