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“I’m Picking Up Good Vibrations….”

ScienceDaily — In one of my posts back in the summer (July 31, 2009), was information on a study involving 15 PEP Grant school districts.  The study indicated a variety of correlations and differences between students who said they either liked or disliked their PE programs. Highlights included:

  • Satisfied Students = Positive Benefits: Students who find their physical education classes enjoyable and satisfying demonstrate higher levels of physical activity, stronger nutritional behaviors, and have a greater tendency to practice obesity prevention behaviors as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • PEP Grant Schools Create More Satisfied Students: The pre- and post-test results demonstrate growing numbers of students who find physical education more appealing and enjoyable. This was particularly true for female students.
  • PEP Grant Schools Create Positive Changes for All: Another interesting trend is based on data collected from the “dissatisfied student” respondents. The overall numbers of students from this category were reduced by implementing the research-based curricula and effective teaching strategies.
  • For Example: Even dissatisfied students reported greater levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and greater fruit/vegetable consumption. In other words, there appear to be broad public health/social marketing (i.e., changing of social norms) benefits for all students in PEP Grant schools.

These results suggest the importance of creating a supportive and personalized experience within school physical education programs in order to maximize recommended physical activity, nutrition, and other obesity prevention behaviors.

Journal of Teaching in Physical Education: Recently, a new investigation provided additional support for this premise.  The objective of the study recently published in the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education was to analyse the factors that influence whether or not we have a “good vibe” towards physical education, which is technically defined as “dispositional flow.”

Flow PE: According to David González-Cutre, the main author of the study and researcher in the University of Almeria (UAL), when students are  able to reach this “flow state” while performing a physical activity, “he/she will obtain high levels of enjoyment, and entertainment, and will want to perform it more to experience these sensations again.”

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