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Outcomes of a four-year specialist-taught physical education program on physical activity: a cluster randomized controlled trial, the LOOK study

Telford, Rohan M, Olive, Lisa S, Cochrane, Thomas, Davey, Rachel and Telford, Richard D 2016, Outcomes of a four-year specialist-taught physical education program on physical activity: a cluster randomized controlled trial, the LOOK study, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, vol. 13, pp. 1-11, doi: 10.1186/s12966-016-0388-4.

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Title Outcomes of a four-year specialist-taught physical education program on physical activity: a cluster randomized controlled trial, the LOOK study
Author(s) Telford, Rohan M
Olive, Lisa S
Cochrane, Thomas
Davey, Rachel
Telford, Richard D
Journal name International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
Volume number 13
Article ID 64
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication England
Publication date 2016-06
ISSN 1479-5868
Keyword(s) Intervention
Physical activity
Physical education
RCT
School
Actigraphy
Child
Child Behavior
Curriculum
Exercise
Female
Health Behavior
Humans
Male
Motor Activity
Physical Education and Training
Physical Exertion
Physical Fitness
Schools
Sedentary Lifestyle
Students
Teaching
Summary Background
The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of a 4-year specialist-taught Physical Education (PE) program on physical activity (PA) among primary school children.

Methods
A 4-year cluster randomised controlled trial was conducted in children (initially aged 8 years) from 29 primary schools (13 Intervention, 16 Control). Intervention students (N = 457) received 2 × 45 min PE lessons per week from specialist-trained PE teachers (68 lessons per year, 272 lessons over 4 years). Control group students (N = 396) received usual practice PE from generalist classroom teachers. PA during PE lessons was examined using the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT). Pedometers (steps/day) were worn for 7 days each year, and accelerometers were worn concurrently in the final two years to assess moderate to vigorous (MVPA) and sedentary activity. Linear and generalized mixed models were used to determine differences in Intervention and Control student PA and the proportion of students meeting PA guidelines.

Results
The intervention increased SOFIT-observed student MVPA during PE lessons by 6.5 mins (16.7 v 10.2, p < 0.001). Within intervention schools, participants increased their whole-day step counts (boys = 449 [CI,140 to 756]; girls = 424 [CI,222 to 626]) and minutes of MVPA (boys = 8.0 [CI,6.8 to 9.2]; girls = 3.5 [CI,1.7 to 5.4]) on PE days. However, compared to the Control group the Intervention did not: increase habitual steps/day or MVPA when averaged over 7 days; elicit greater improvements in these measures over time; or increase the odds of meeting step/day or MVPA recommendations. At age 11 years Intervention group boys were 20 mins less sedentary per day (380 [CI,369 to 391] vs 360 [CI,350 to 369]) and this effect was sustained at age 12 years.

Conclusions

Well-designed specialist-taught PE can improve student PA during PE lessons. However for PE to be a significant contributor to improving habitual PA in pre-adolescent children, daily classes are likely to be required, and even this would need to be supplemented with a wider multicomponent strategy. Our finding of a reduction in sedentary time among Intervention boys warrants further investigation into the potential role PE could play in influencing sedentary behaviour.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12966-016-0388-4
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
11 Medical And Health Sciences
13 Education
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30096167

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.