School, classroom and child-level correlates of children's class-time and recess physical activity

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated abstract] This thesis examines the school physical, policy and socio-cultural environments and child characteristics associated with children’s class-time and recess physical activity. Although schools are an ideal setting in which to increase children’s physical activity, and the socio-ecological approach to promoting physical activity is well supported, research exploring school environments related to children’s physical activity is limited. This thesis describes moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during morning and lunch breaks (recess) and class physical education (PE), sport and other class activities (class-time) using data from grade six children participating in the Active Schools Project. The main aim of the study was to identify school, classroom and child-level characteristics associated with class-time MVPA (CMVPA), and recess MVPA (RMVPA). An additional aim was to quantify the potential contribution of these characteristics to CMVPA and RMVPA using hierarchical modelling. This thesis describes moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during morning and lunch breaks (recess) and class physical education (PE), sport and other class activities (class-time) using data from grade six children participating in the Active Schools Project. The main aim of the study was to identify school, classroom and child-level characteristics associated with class-time MVPA (CMVPA), and recess MVPA (RMVPA). An additional aim was to quantify the potential contribution of these characteristics to CMVPA and RMVPA using hierarchical modelling. The final hierarchical models explained 49% of variability of children’s CMVPA and 40% of RMVPA variability. With each additional 100 square metres of grass per child, and each additional sporting apparatus item, children spent averages of 1.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.7, 1.8) and 5.2 (95% CI 3.3, 7.1) minutes more respectively in CMVPA daily. Grassed school grounds were also associated with RMVPA; children participated in an average extra 4.5 (95% CI 0.6, 5.4) minutes RMVPA daily for each 100 square metres of grass. However, an average extra 7.9 (95% CI 2.5, 13.4) minutes of RMVPA daily was recorded if all grassed areas at the school were un-shaded. For each year that the school was newer, children recorded an average extra 0.1 (90% CI 0.0, 0.14) minutes of RMVPA daily. Children attending schools in which the PE coordinator met National Physical Activity Guidelines engaged in an average additional 27 (95% CI 13.3, 40.7) minutes of CMVPA daily than children at schools in which the PE coordinator did not meet guidelines. When no designated person was assigned to coordinate PE at their school, children recorded an average of 29.3 (95% CI 43.4, 15.1) minutes more of CMVPA daily than at schools with a generalist teacher assigned to coordinate PE. Children whose classroom teacher instructed fitness as one of the their two main PE/sport activities participated in an average extra nine (95% CI 4.7, 13.2) minutes of CMVPA daily than children whose classroom teacher did not instruct fitness as a main PE/sport activity. Children whose classroom teacher had attended PE professional development in the last two years participated in 4.9 (95% CI 1.1, 8.6) less average minutes of RMVPA daily than children whose classroom teacher had not attended PE professional development...
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2010

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