Comparison of 4th Graders' Physical Activity Intensities in Various School Physical Activity Settings

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Objective: Our objective was to measure fourth grade elementary students' levels of physical activity (PA) during school hours in multiple settings/activities. Methods: Fourth grade students' PA levels were measured in physical education (PE) classes, playground free play, and playground-based cross-curricular instruction using accelerometers, pedometers, and SOFIT observation methods. Results: PE provided the highest levels of moderate-to-vigorous PA (accelerometers [F(2, 32) = 7.84, p < .01], pedometers [F(2, 198) = 49.6, p < .01], and the SOFIT observational method [F(2, 121) = 22.37, p < .01]). Conclusions: Whereas PE yielded the highest levels of PA, it fell short of the recommended daily guidelines. Free play and cross-curricular activity may supplement PE to reach the overall daily PA guideline levels.