Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Kinesiology

Major Professor

Dawn P. Coe

Committee Members

Dawn P. Coe, David R. Bassett, Dixie L. Thompson

Abstract

Purpose: To objectively assess the physical activity levels of students during three different time blocks on days when the Mornings in Motion before-school activity program is offered, and on days when it is not. Methods: Subjects were 69 elementary school children (8.5 ± 1.9 years) who were all apparently healthy. Subjects were all enrolled in the Mornings in Motion before-school physical activity program that was offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The program focuses on health related fitness through the implementation of aerobic activities, stretching to improve overall flexibility, as well as calisthenics to build muscular strength and endurance. Physical activity intensity and patterns were assessed over the course of five days (Monday-Friday) using accelerometery. Comparisons were made between days when the before-school program took place (Treatment) and days when it did not (Control). Three different time blocks, before-school (PRE), school-day (SD), and after-school (AS), were compared. Pairwise t-tests were used to calculate the comparisons between these different time blocks for the Treatment and Control days. Results: Subjects achieved a significant increase of 5.4 minutes per hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during the PRE time block during Treatment days when compared to the Control days (p < 0.05). When adjusting for arrival time to the program, subjects spent 76.2% of their time in activity (22.5% in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and 53.7% in light activity) during Mornings in Motion sessions. Participants that attended Mornings in Motion for greater than or equal to 15 minutes on Treatment days saw an increase of 3.6 minutes in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity when compared to those that attended for less than 15 minutes. Conclusions: Overall, participation in the Mornings in Motion program resulted in greater MVPA compared to control days. Enforcing mandatory attendance for the full length of the program would increase its impact on physical activity levels. Future studies should continue to use objective measures of physical activity as well as use direct observation methodology and examine a larger number of subjects.

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