The aim of this study is to advance our knowledge of the contribution of a typical physical education (PE) class to children's daily physical activity.
The pilot project is a part of a survey study comprising 11 fourth grader classes (250 pupils). One class of 19 pupils (9 girls) participated in the pilot study. Daily step counts were measured by Yamax pedometers during four consecutive weekdays. During PE class, the participants wore a second pedometer and an Actigraph GT1M accelerometer.
The total average step count during PE class was 2512, average 74 steps/min. The counts for the whole day were 16668, and 19 steps/min respectively. The total share of moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) of the PE class was 50.4% (52.5% and 48.3% for boys and girls respectively). There was an inverse correlation between daily mean step count and contribution of PE class step to daily mean step (r = -0.64, p = .003).
The contribution of PE class to MVPA was in high in both boys and girls. Considering the suggested independent role of physical fitness for cardiovascular health in children, the PE class must be seen as an important health factor, especially for otherwise inactive children.