Effectiveness of a personalized fitness module on knowledge, attitude, and cardiovascular endurance of fifth-grade students: "heart smart"

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Perceptual and Motor Skills


Exercise Science


The effectiveness of a Personalized Fitness Module was compared to a Traditional Fitness Unit, both of which were designed to develop knowledge, behavioral skills, fitness and positive attitudes. 95 students in Grade 5 and from intact physical education/health classes within two public schools participated in a seven-week cardiovascular fitness program. The experimental group of 48 participated in the personalized and noncompetitive fitness module. The control group of 47 participated in the traditional unit, a teacher-centered fitness module. Students received a total of 14 55-min. lessons over seven weeks. Pre- and posttest measurements included the Superkids-Superfit Knowledge Test, the Children's Attitudes Toward Physical Activity Inventory, and the one-mile run/walk. Data were analyzed using group mean gain scores on eight dependent variables (knowledge, six subscales of attitude, and one-mile run/walk) followed by a multivariate analysis of variance. A significant difference between groups led to a discriminant function analysis as a post hoc test. Findings indicated that the use of the personalized unit can substantially improve one-mile run/walk time. The use of modules of this type in health and physical education programs may promote life-long exercise patterns and fitness.