Presently, there is general disquiet about the poor fitness and obesity levels being displayed by young people in the USA. Given my concern about this as a Physical Education teacher, I conducted a qualitative action research project that involved running a six-week Summer Fitness Club for elementary students in Grades 1-5. The purpose was to see if this program could make a difference in the fitness test scores of the children and to monitor the implementation of that program.
The course was designed to operate four days a week for six weeks with each session lasting two hours. Each session consisted of station work designed to focus on increasing muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. In addition, each session would consist of cardiovascular endurance activities intended to provide the children with a moderate to vigorous workout. The children were tested four times: first, in the school-wide district battery of tests in March, 2010; second, halfway through the summer program; third, at the end of the summer program; and, fourth, in the school-wide district battery of tests in September, 2010, six weeks after the end of the summer program. In addition, data was collected in the form of peer observations, my personal field notes, and conversations with the participants.
The tests revealed that over the six-week Fitness Club period the children made excellent progress with their fitness, as measured by the batteries of tests. However, by the time they were tested in September, there had been some regression, although there was still encouraging improvement over their scores from the preceding March for many of the students.
The implications for this program are that it is possible for schools to find ways to contribute to reversing health and fitness trends in America. Providing opportunities for children to be physically active both during the school year and at the conclusion of the school year by implementing special summer programs are ways to enhance fitness levels of students. Teaching children the right ways to exercise will enhance their knowledge level, improve their level of fitness, and increase their desire to live a healthy lifestyle.
|Advisor:||Berg, Owen van den|
|Commitee:||Ayres, Deb, Loughrey, Thomas|
|School Location:||United States -- Missouri|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/07, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Fitness test, Obesity, Summer Fitness Club|
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