Background/Purpose: Addressing children's physical activity (PA) levels during physical education (PE) may help to reduce the spread of the obesity epidemic. In 2000, the US Department of Health and Human Services recommended that students engage in PA for 50% or more of a PE lesson, yet NASPE's 2009 recommendation calls for moderate to vigorous physical activity intensity (MVPA) for 50% or more of a PE lesson. The purpose of this study was to examine the relative class time students engaged in PA (i.e., USDHHS recommendation) and relative class time spent engaged in MVPA (i.e., NASPE recommendation) during elementary PE lessons utilizing Dynamic Physical Education.
Methods: Elementary students (N= 308), aged 9-13, from two elementary schools in the southern US participated in two PE lessons (e.g., individual activities and group activities). Students wore accelerometers to measure PA.
Analysis/Results: A 3x2x2 ANOVA revealed a significant effect in grade, school and gender in relation to class time spent active. A significant effect was revealed with grade and gender in relation to time spent in MVPA. Students were active 68% and 73% of activity time for girls and boys, respectively. Students spent 29% and 27% of total class time engaged in MVPA for boys and girls, respectively.
Conclusions: When referring to the NASPE recommendations, these teachers did not meet the standard. However, these teachers far exceeded the USDHHS recommendation. Perhaps the recommendations should be revisited and rewritten to clarify whether including intensity level of PA is worthwhile for PE lessons.