Research Study Abstract

Factors Leading to Discrepancies in Accumulated Physical Activity During School Hours in Elementary School Students

  • Published on April 27, 2019

Current in-school physical activity (PA) policies lack regulation, which testifies to the urgency of monitoring in-school moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA). This study quantifies the demographical differences of in-school PA among elementary students.

Fourth-grade students wore accelerometers during school for 1 week. The teachers logged information for PA setting and duration of opportunity.

The accelerometry data (N = 148) showed alarming results in the lack of MVPA during in-school PA opportunity times. Significant sex differences showed boys to accumulate more minutes MVPA per day in recess than girls (7.62 ± 5.87 and 5.19 ± 3.03, respectively). Racial differences showed that non-White students accumulated significantly more minutes of MVPA per week during the school day than White students (30.82 ± 19.09 and 23.44 ± 18.41, respectively).

The students fell short of the recommended 30 min of MVPA per day during school hours, as advised by a state mandate. Significant differences were seen in PA levels across sex and race, supporting the need for enhanced attention to influential factors on PA engagement.


  • Riley Galloway 1
  • Robert Booker 2
  • Scott Ownes 3


  • 1

    Missouri State University

  • 2

    Mississippi State University

  • 3

    University of Mississippi


Journal of Teaching in Physical Education