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ERIC Number: EJ809828
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
Distant Interactions and Their Effects on Children's Physical Activity Levels
Patterson, Debra L.; van der Mars, Hans
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v13 n3 p277-294 Jul 2008
Background: It has been observed that physical activity patterns of health-related behavior are established in childhood and may continue into adulthood. Recent findings showing a relationship between the onset of chronic diseases and sedentary lifestyles support the importance of examining Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA). One instructional strategy that has been shown to correlate with higher physical activity levels in students at elementary school levels is the promotion of physical activity by teachers through verbal prompts, encouragement, and feedback. Purpose: To determine the functional relationship between distant interactions (a component of active monitoring where verbal interaction is given across the teaching environment) by physical education teachers and elementary students' MVPA levels during the physical fitness segment of their physical education class. Participants and setting: Five classes between Grades 3 and 5 (age range 8-10) and two elementary physical education teachers were observed for this study over 23-25 class sessions. Only the fitness segments were observed for this study. Intervention: Following a baseline phase, two conditions implemented and repeated across multiple class sessions. Condition C-IA (close interaction) consisted of the teachers only actively supervising those students in their immediate area (except for possible safety issues). During Condition D-IA (distant interaction) teachers also supervised actively, but only targeted their interactions to those students at fitness stations farthest removed from where they themselves were located. Research design: A reversal design using a baseline condition and two treatments, close interaction (C-IA) and distant interaction (D-IA) was implemented to demonstrate this relationship. Data collection: A modified System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) and "live" momentary time sampling along with videotape recordings were used to measure students' MVPA during fitness activities. Data analysis: The MVPA data were plotted graphically and analyzed visually, using data overlap, change in level, trends within and across phases, and variability within and across phases as the criteria to determine the functional relationship between the teacher's supervision techniques and the students' MVPA levels. Both session means and phase means were calculated for all conditions. Findings: Results indicated the teachers' use of distant interaction increased the MVPA levels for the students farthest from the teacher while the close students maintained their MVPA levels. Conclusions: Teachers need to be aware of the benefits of using distant interactions as part of their active supervision efforts to increase/sustain students' MVPA during fitness activities as part of the process aimed at shaping physical activity behavior in youth. (Contains 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A