Generalisation and maintenance of physical activity from physical education to recess in elementary schools
The World Health Organization recommends that children and youth aged 5-17 accumulate 60 minutes of physical activity (PA) daily. Belgian data show that for 6-9-year-olds, only 11% of boys and 1.6% of girls achieve this guideline. A large proportion of Belgian youth is therefore at risk to develop health-related diseases as adults. Physical Education (PE) contributes significantly to the achievement of the daily recommended PA guideline. However, PE is only scheduled on average twice a week and therefore does not meet children’ s health needs. In this project, we will investigate the effect of a PE intervention in elementary schools on the generalization and maintenance of PA. Generalization means children are physically active in a setting other (e.g., recess) than the one in which they learned it (e.g., PE). Maintenance means children will continue to be physically active after the intervention has stopped. To date, research investigating PA interventions in PE and schools as a whole have mainly focused on increasing PA and developing different types of physical activities. Collectively, these studies has shown that when the intervention stops, the effect ends. By emphasizing generalization and maintenance we aim at having a sustainable impact on children's health. More specific teacher behavior and learning outcomes will be examined.