Objective: To determine the levels of physical activity (PA), lesson context and teacher interaction students receive during physical education(PE) in secondary schools in New South Wales, Australia.Design: Baseline cross-sectional study.Methods: Systematic direct observation of Year 7 PE classes over a six-month period. Eighty one (81) PE lessons across six schools wereobserved.Results: The mean (SD) percentage of class time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was 56.9% (18.7). However, only60% of the 81 met the recommended 50% of class time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Just over 6% of class timewas spent in skill instruction. Game play made up nearly half of the lesson context (44%) and teachers spent just under one-third (31%) ofclass time promoting PA.Conclusions: Substantial variations in the PA, lesson context and teacher interaction exist within PE. As a large proportion of classes,especially girls' only classes, did not meet the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation of 50% of class time inMVPA, ways need to be found to promote PA in PE classes. Levels of skill instruction and practice were well below international comparisonsand may have implications for PA participation later in life. Numerous possibilities exist for improving PE in Australia as a way of improvingthe activity levels and experiences of our young people.
Dudley, D., Okely, A. D., Cotton, W. G., Pearson, P., & Caputi, P. (2012). Physical activity levels and movement skill instruction in secondary school physical education. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 15(3), 231-237. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2011.10.005