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Taking the ‘‘physical’’ out of physical education

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Australian youth (5-17) are exhibiting the most alarming statistics surrounding poor physical activity (PA) levels and increasing correlating chronic disease trends (i.e. obesity). With schools well positioned to address such concerns, this study aimed to determine the type, frequency and intensity levels of PA being undertaken by children during their physical education (PE) classes (Queensland, Australia). A cross-sectional descriptive study design was adopted, using a mixed methods approach across 10 primary schools (grades 1-5), with the purpose of determining if in fact there are appropriate PA levels undertaken and implemented by PE teachers, for school-aged students. Observation of 30 students was used to assess PE class practice with Primary Outcome Variables collected from Student Activity, Lesson Context and Teacher Interaction. Further questionnaires were administered to students (n = 80), PE specialists (n = 10) and principals (n = 10). Whilst this study specifically addresses the importance of correctly structured PE lessons, further attention is directed towards identifying the impact appropriately structured PA levels have on students’ wider social and emotional well-being. Schools are encouraged to prioritise the importance of PA at a school level, for example, through re-engaging key stakeholders to ensure the delivery methods meet national and international PA guidelines.




Usher, W., Keegan, R., & Edwards, A. (2016). Taking the ‘“physical”’ out of physical education. Cogent Education, 3(1).

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