Effects of a Two-Day Teachers’ Training Course on Activity Time in Physical Education


Schools are a key setting for promoting physical activity in children. There is little evidence on the potential of widely implemented programs to improve the quality of physical education (PE). The aim was to assess the effects of a short training course for classroom teachers on the quality of PE, assessed as activity time during PE. A quasi-experimental study was conducted with 6 intervention (N = 86) and 13 control classes (N = 151). Schools were selected in a random procedure (26.9% participation). Participation in children was 86.2% (mean age 7.8 years, 48.9% girls). Physical activity was assessed objectively using accelerometers. Effect on time spent in sedentary, moderate, vigorous and moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) activities, steps and counts/minute during PE were analysed using t-tests and mixed linear models. Physical activity time increased significantly in the intervention but not in the control group between baseline and follow-up (relative increase in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity of 12% in intervention group). Increases were strongest in girls and in children inactive at baseline. In the mixed linear models adjusted for clustering, the effects were significant in girls for vigorous activities, sedentary time and counts/minute, in inactive children for steps. Results indicate that a short training course for classroom teachers can have subtle positive effects on physical activity time during PE. Girls and the most inactive children at baseline profited most from the intervention.

Share and Cite:

Wanner, M. , Martin-Diener, E. , Frick, C. , Kriemler, S. and Martin, B. (2014) Effects of a Two-Day Teachers’ Training Course on Activity Time in Physical Education. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4, 317-326. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2014.45039.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee (2008) Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report 2008. US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington DC.
[2] Kriemler, S., Meyer, U., Martin, E., van Sluijs, E.M., Andersen, L.B. and Martin, B.W. (2011) Effect of School-Based Interventions on Physical Activity and Fitness in Children and Adolescents: A Review of Reviews and Systematic Update. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45, 923-930.
[3] van Sluijs, E.M., McMinn, A.M. and Griffin, S.J. (2007) Effectiveness of Interventions to Promote Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents: Systematic Review of Controlled Trials. BMJ, 335, 703.
[4] Sallis, J.F., McKenzie, T.L., Alcaraz, J.E., Kolody, B., Faucette, N. and Hovell, M.F. (1997) The Effects of a 2-Year Physical Education Program (SPARK) on Physical Activity and Fitness in Elementary School Students. Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids. American Journal of Public Health, 87, 1328-1334.
[5] McKenzie, T.L., Sallis, J.F., Faucette, N., Roby, J.J. and Kolody, B. (1993) Effects of a Curriculum and Inservice Program on the Quantity and Quality of Elementary Physical Education Classes. Research Quarterly for Exercise & Sport, 64, 178-187.
[6] van Sluijs, E.M. and McMinn, A. (2010) Preventing Obesity in Primary Schoolchildren. BMJ, 340, c819.
[7] Kriemler, S., Zahner, L., Schindler, C., Meyer, U., Hartmann, T., Hebestreit, H., Brunner-La Rocca, H.P., van Mechelen, W. and Puder, J.J. (2010) Effect of School Based Physical Activity Programme (KISS) on Fitness and Adiposity in Primary Schoolchildren: Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial. BMJ, 340, c785.
[8] Kelly, P., Cavill, N. and Foster, C. (2009) An Analysis of National Approaches to Promoting Physical Activity and Sports in Children and Adolescents. Edited by British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group University of Oxford. Oxford, WHO, 33-34.
[9] Association for Physical Education (2008) Physical Education’s Contribution to Public Health. afPE Summary Position Paper. Physical Education Matters, 3, 8.
[10] National Center for Health Statistics (2012) Healthy People 2010. Final Review. Hyattsville, MD, 22-28.
[11] van Beurden, E., Barnett, L.M., Zask, A., Dietrich, U.C., Brooks, L.O. and Beard, J. (2003) Can We Skill and Activate Children through Primary School Physical Education Lessons? “Move It Groove It”—A Collaborative Health Promotion Intervention. Preventive Medicine, 36, 493-501.
[12] Meyer, U., Roth, R., Zahner, L., Gerber, M., Puder, J.J., Hebestreit, H. and Kriemler, S. (2011) Contribution of Physical Education to Overall Physical Activity. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 23, 600-606.
[13] Twisk, J.W.R. (2006) Sample-Size Calculations in Multilevel Studies. In: Applied Multilevel Analysis, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 127.
[14] Bailey, R.C., Olson, J., Pepper, S.L., Porszasz, J., Barstow, T.J. and Cooper, D.M. (1995) The Level and Tempo of Children’s Physical Activities: An Observational Study. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 27, 1033-1041.
[15] Evenson, K.R., Catellier, D.J., Gill, K., Ondrak, K.S. and McMurray, R.G. (2008) Calibration of Two Objective Measures of Physical Activity for Children. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26, 1557-1565.
[16] Trost, S.G., Loprinzi, P.D., Moore, R. and Pfeiffer, K.A. (2011) Comparison of Accelerometer Cut Points for Predicting Activity Intensity in Youth. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 43, 1360-1368.
[17] de Onis, M., Onyango, A.W., Borghi, E., Siyam, A., Nishida, C. and Siekmann, J. (2007) Development of a WHO Growth Reference for School-Aged Children and Adolescents. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 85, 660-667.
[18] Federal Statistical Office (FSO) (2002) Ein Drittel der Schweizer Bevölkerung sind Migranten oder Nachkommen von Migranten (One Third of the Swiss Population Are Migrants or Offspring of Migrants). Neuenburg.
[19] Fairclough, S.J. and Stratton, G. (2006) A Review of Physical Activity Levels during Elementary School Physical Education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 25, 239-257.
[20] Nettlefold, L., McKay, H.A., Warburton, D.E., McGuire, K.A., Bredin, S.S. and Naylor, P.J. (2011) The Challenge of Low Physical Activity during the School Day: At Recess, Lunch and in Physical Education. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45, 813-819.
[21] Loprinzi, P.D., Lee, H., Cardinal, B.J., Crespo, C.J., Andersen, R.E. and Smit, E. (2012) The Relationship of Actigraph Accelerometer Cut-Points for Estimating Physical Activity with Selected Health Outcomes: Results from NHANES 2003-06. Research Quarterly for Exercise & Sport, 83, 422-430.
[22] Troiano, R.P., Berrigan, D., Dodd, K.W., Masse, L.C., Tilert, T. and McDowell, M. (2008) Physical Activity in the United States Measured by Accelerometer. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 40, 181-188.
[23] Shephard, R.J. (2003) Regression to the Mean. A Threat to Exercise Science? Sports Medicine, 33, 575-584.
[24] Slingerland, M. and Borghouts, L. (2011) Direct and Indirect Influence of Physical Education-Based Interventions on Physical Activity: A Review. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 8, 866-878.
[25] Verstraete, S.J.M., Cardon, G.M., De Clercq, D.L.R. and De Bourdeaudhuij, I.M.M. (2007) Effectiveness of a Two-Year Health-Related Physical Education Intervention in Elementary Schools. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 26, 20-34.
[26] Fairclough, S. and Stratton, G. (2005) Improving Health-Enhancing Physical Activity in Girls’ Physical Education. Health Education Research, 20, 448-457.
[27] McKenzie, T.L., Nader, P.R., Strikmiller, P.K., Yang, M., Stone, E.J., Perry, C.L., Taylor, W.C., Epping, J.N., Feldman, H.A., Luepker, R.V., et al. (1996) School Physical Education: Effect of the Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health. Preventive Medicine, 25, 423-431.

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.