Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Teaching & Learning
According to the recent Surgeon General's Report guidelines, all Americans including children need to bum a minimum of 150 calories in daily physical activity or approximately 1,000 calories a week to meet minimum healthy activity standards. The purpose of the study was to assess the caloric expenditure of students in middle school physical education classes to determine if they were expending a sufficient amount of calories in physical education classes to meet the minimum healthy activity recommendations. More specifically, the study determined the differences in caloric expenditure and various physical activities, the relationship between heart rate and caloric expenditure, sex differences in caloric expenditure, the relationship of fitness levels and caloric expenditure, and the students' attitudes and knowledge about physical activity and healthy behaviors.
The subjects for the study consisted of 56 students (11 males and 45 females) in two middle school physical education classes taught by the same instructor. The age range of the subjects was 11 to 14 years. Data was collected over 19 days or 38 total class periods. These instruments were used to collect the data: the Caltrac accelerometer, the Polar Vantage XL heart rate monitor, and a survey instrument designed by the researcher.
The study indicated that students expended an average of 71.1 activity calories per class period with a range between 36.8 and 120.5 calories. The study revealed that there were significant differences between calories expended among nine different physical activities taught in physical education. There were moderate correlations between caloric expenditure and heart rates above, in, and below the target heart rate zone and an inverse relationship between caloric expenditure and heart rates below the target heart rate zone. The study also revealed that there were significant differences in caloric expenditure in males in comparison to females. There were no significant differences between the PACER, sit and reach, sit-up, and push-up fitness tests and caloric expenditure. There were significant differences in caloric expenditure and body mass index. Students with a higher body mass index burned significantly more calories. In addition, there were positive correlations between attitude and knowledge in regards to physical activity and healthy behaviors.
Frappier, Wendy Granum, "Analysis of the Caloric Expenditure of Students in Middle School Physical Education Classes" (1999). Theses and Dissertations. 810.