Interventions to increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in elementary school physical education lessons: systematic review

Lan S. Wong, Ann-Marie Gibson, Abdulaziz Farooq, John J. Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This systematic review aimed to synthesize recent evidence on interventions to increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) content of physical education (PE) in children age 8 to 11. METHODS: A search of 6 databases was conducted in December 2019. Controlled intervention studies were included so long as they used objective measures of MVPA. Methodological quality was assessed using the appropriate Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Checklist. Random effects meta-analysis was used where appropriate. RESULTS: Of the 5459 records, only 5 studies met all inclusion criteria, reporting on 1452 participants; 3 quasi-experimental studies and 2 RCTs. All 5 eligible studies reported favorable intervention effects. Meta-analysis was possible from 4/5 studies: the mean difference between intervention and control groups at follow-up was +14.3% of lesson time in MVPA (confidence interval [CI] 2.7 to 25.8). CONCLUSIONS: Efforts to increase the MVPA content of elementary school PE are achievable. Two studies employed PE specialist teachers and 1 study used an expert instructor as their intervention, 2 studies worked with the class teachers using self-determination theory. All studies focused on health (MVPA) outcomes and included either "fitness infusions" or physically active games to engage students' in physical activities and increase their activity level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-845
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume91
Issue number10
Early online date25 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • physical activity
  • sedentary behaviour
  • activity for children

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