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Title: Children's physical activity during primary school break times and physical education : ecologically framed interventions
Author: Powell, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 7512
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2017
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Introduction: Physical education (PE) and break times have been identified as opportunities in which children can be physically active. Interventions in these areas of the primary school day are relatively new areas of research. Thus, the thesis’ significant contribution to knowledge is the implementation of ecologically framed interventions applied to these two segments of the school day. Aim: The aim was to design, implement and evaluate primary school-based interventions to increase children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during break times and PE. Methods: Through a mixed-method design, two exploratory studies and two intervention studies were employed. The PA behaviour of 412 children (aged 5-10 years) across 8 schools was measured using pedometers and/or systematic observation. A total of 40 interviews were conducted to explore children’s and teachers’ perceptions and experiences of children’s PA behaviour during break times or PE lessons. Specifically, 18 teacher interviews and 22 children’s group interviews, including 120 children (aged 7-10 years), were conducted. Results: The break time intervention had positive short term effects (1-5 weeks) on both boys’ and girls’ MVPA (aged 5-9 years) and positive longer term effects (6-9 weeks) on boys’ (aged 7-9 years) VPA. The qualitative data indicated that boys dominated the new playground space, while girls preferred to talk with friends. Inconsistencies in the implementation of the break time intervention negatively impacted upon its success. The PE intervention had positive effects on children’s MVPA, evidencing a significant 30% point increase. The qualitative data indicated a pedagogical shift of teachers to focus on active learning time. Conclusion: The application of a unique combination of an ecological model, Self Determination Theory (SDT) and Behaviour Change Taxonomy (BCT) creates an effective framework for the design of primary school-based PA interventions. Further research is recommended involving the application of the framework in larger trials.
Supervisor: Woodfield, Lorayne A. ; Nevill, Alan M. ; Myers, Tony D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available